Let’s make the most of staying at home.

Welcome to Make it!

Ready for a challenge? So are we! Join the KID Museum Educators as they take on engineering, movie-making, and digital sculpting. Check out our new selection of Make it! Live workshops and classes, and get inspired.

Also this week, we’re launching Make it! Summer Camp. We know how important it is for kids to have fun this summer — and our line-up of creative, engaging camps are all about fun. Virtual Wizarding, Space Engineers, Wacky Inventions… we’ve got you covered.

This week’s Make it! DIY takes us to outer space, with five space-themed activities you can do on your own. Make a planetarium projector, a DIY rover, and a baking soda rocket — lift-off!

Don’t forget to post your creations (#makeit) and tag us so we can share them with our KID Museum friends.

Ready. Set. Make it!

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Space KIDs

1. Model Our Solar System

Ever wondered what our solar system looks like? Scientists build scaled models in order to study things that are either too small or too big to look at with the naked eye. Using household items, build a model of our solar system or a model of a planet.!

Suggested Materials
– Construction paper
– Scissors
– Markers, colored pencils or paint
– Tape
– Chart of the solar system
– Optional: various round objects of different sizes, string, coat hanger, tinfoil, clay

 

Tips and Thoughts:
– Want to know more about each of the planets in our solar system? Check out these resources from NASA.
– Make your model 3D by finding differently sized balls around your house, or make your own out of tinfoil of playdoh! If Mercury is a marble, what kind of ball could represent Jupiter?
– Consider how you will display your solar system, whether it’s on a flat piece of paper, or hanging as a mobile.
Explore our solar system in 3D.

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Written Instructions
Other things you can use to make a planet

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

2. DIY Rovers

Did you know that NASA has sent vehicles to Mars? We call these vehicles Rovers, and we use them to explore planetary surfaces and send information back to earth about what they find. Using household items and little background research, create a model of a rover that represents those sent to either Mars or the moon.

Suggested Materials
– Skewers or dowels
– Cardboard
– Tape
– Scissors
– Straws
– Paper towel tubes
– Paper
– Rubber bands
– Other household items as needed

Tips and thoughts:
Ever wondered how rovers drive on Mars?
– What features do the Curiosity, Sojourner and the other rovers have? How can you create models to represent these features
– What to learn more about the MArs Rover? Check out these interactive resources from NASA 

Resources
Informational
Instructional
Written Instructions

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Rubber band powered rovers

3. Lunar Craters

If you go outside and look at the moon at night, you may notice that it has circular patterns on it — craters. Craters are created when meteors or other large rocks hit the moon’s surface. You can model how these crashes affect the surface of the moon by creating your own lunar surface out of simple kitchen items. Explore the physics of collisions and learn about planetary surfaces in this simple DIY activity.

Suggested Materials
– Large baking sheet or tray
– Flour
– Cocoa powder
– Small rocks or other objects to act as meteors
– Optional: sifter, Cake sprinkles or glitter, baby oil, small figurines to populate your lunar surface.

Tips and thoughts:
– Observe different shapes, sizes and angles of meteor collision? What difference in pattern do you see?
– How much of the lower layers of soil do you see when the crater is formed? Why do you think that is?
– What kind of landforms on earth do you think are formed by meteors? Learn more about craters on our own planet here.
Explore more about how craters are formed on the moon.

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

4. Planetarium Projector

Want to be able to see the stars from your bedroom? Learn about constellations of stars in the night sky by building your own planetarium projector out of simple materials. You can even create your own constellations!

Suggested Materials
– Paper cup, toilet paper tube, or oatmeal container
– Construction paper (preferably in a dark color) or tinfoil
– Tape
Constellation templates or night sky chart
– Thumbtack or sharp pencil for making small holes
– Dark room or closet
– Light source, such as a flashlight or desk lamp

Tips and thoughts:
– Experiment with different size pinholes and different light sources. What differences do you notice?
– What other things can you see in the sky at night? What might make it hard to see constellations and other things in our night sky?
Learn more about constellations and other night sky events on this website form NASA 
– Ever wondered what the night sky looks like at different times of year or from different places in the world? Use this interactive map to look at the sky from anywhere in the world

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

5. Baking Soda Rockets

Design your own rocket models and then see how high they launch! NASA uses rockets to shoot space crafts, such as those that hold satellites, rovers, and people, into outer space. Rockets need fuel in order to give them enough energy to leave the earth’s atmosphere and push against gravity. Here, we use baking soda and vinegar as our fuel. (Adult supervision is required for launch.)

Suggested Materials
– Plastic bottle
– Cork or rubber stopper
– Cardboard or paper for fins and cone
– Baking soda
– Vinegar
– Pencils or dowels
– Tape
– Scissors
– Paper towels
– Safety glasses or goggles
– An outdoor space for launch

Tips and thoughts:
– What features does a rocket have? How can you recreate those features to make your rocket more fun and realistic?
– What force causes the rocket to shoot off the ground?
– How might you make the rocket either go higher or lower during launch?
– Want to know more about the history and uses of rockets? Read all about them here.
– Want to learn about different rocket models and then build your own virtually? Try out this Online Rocket Builder from NASA 

Resources
Video for Younger Students
Video for Older Students
Written Instructions

Click here to take this challenge to the next level.

We'd love to see what you make!

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Past Make it! Challenges