Science Borealis

Science Borealis
Science Borealis

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Science to toy around with

I would like to introduce you to Slater Harrison from Pennsylvania in the US.
He's a science teacher, but even more so, he's a science lover.
How can I tell (since I have never met him in person)?
He has the most amazing website called:

Science Toy Maker


and what is the website all about? well.. its about science, but in a way which I relate on a personal level with my work with Pueblo Science. The website aims to do the following:

"All science toys and projects:
  • *are accessible (so cheap to make that nobody is excluded because of cost, and they don't require special skills, tools, materials, or work facilities beyond a kitchen).
  • *have a "more about" page with explanations, historical context, related activities and high quality links for further research.
  • *have clear step by step video directions or text instructions with lots of pictures."

You see, Slater provides opportunity, not products. He provides knowledge, not withhold it. He provides tools for everyone who wishes to experience, enrich, experiment, and just want to have fun with the world we see around us.

And thanks to his work, I too had the opportunity to try my hands on flying one of his  air surfers (the one called the "Spinny Bug"), together with my 6 years old daughter. Before I start the description, I can tell you that she had lots of fun making it and trying to fly it (although both of us need lots of practice).

SO here's what we did:

1. Start by cutting out the pattern
2. Tape the pattern on the 0.5mm thick foam (which you can get from Slater)
3. Cut along the middle line to get two gliders:
4. Cut along the middle line again to get the two halves of the glider
 5. Cut the extra bits on the ends (which will separate the pattern paper from the foam)
6. Fold each piece into half
7. Tape two folded pieces together, and you've got the glider
8. Let's go fly a glider
9. I got to try that too (I tried posting the video, but it didn't work. I'll try tomorrow)

Now I should point out that there are a lot more details and explanations on Slater's website, which is why I'm not taking the time repeating them here (there's enough redundancy on the internet already). So just go to and check it out, you won't regret it. What I can say is that the written explanations are accompanied by a video, narrated by Slater (with a lovely voice I must say). The video is done so well, that she could follow the instructions after just one viewing.

Thank you Slater for lots of great ideas, and I know I'll be enjoying more of them in the future.

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