San Diego students learn STEM through aviation!

Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.
Cool aircraft are displayed during an event at Gillespie Field by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force.

Today I headed to Gillespie Field in El Cajon and checked out an Expo organized by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force. As I walked among all sorts of restored World War II aircraft and a wide variety of fascinating exhibits, I made a very cool discovery!

Students in San Diego are invited by Air Group One to participate in a special aviation-themed STEM educational program! The special program is designed for middle and high school aged youth. Ricardo Sevilla, the friendly A-STEM Educational Officer, walked over to introduce himself to me, and I learned a little bit about this truly amazing opportunity.

S.T.E.M subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) can be taught to students in San Diego classrooms or at Air Group One’s super cool Gillespie Field headquarters, where there are a variety of potential hands-on activities. Topics that are featured include how to become a pilot, how to operate a drone, how to build a rocket, and the aerodynamics and design concepts that enable an airplane to fly. Potential careers in aviation and the aerospace industry are also introduced. Sounds like lots of fun!

Are you a teacher in San Diego who’d like to learn more? Wouldn’t your students be thrilled to visit an actual airfield? Check out this page of the Air Group One website!

Banner promotes Air Group One's Aviation Educational Programs.
Banner promotes Air Group One’s Aviation Educational Programs.
Air Group One's historic 1943 SNJ-5 "Sassy" on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.
Air Group One’s historic 1943 SNJ-5 “Sassy” on the tarmac at Gillespie Field.
Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.
Flyer describes an exciting ASTEM educational program offered by Air Group One.
If you're interested, use the email shown in this photograph.
If you’re interested, use the email shown in this photograph.
Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!
Learning about aviation can help a student take flight and discover new horizons!

I’ll be blogging about today’s fantastic event at Gillespie Field as soon as I get my photographs together!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Science questions that curious kids can ask.

How was Earth made. How many skin cells do we have.
How was the Earth made? How many skin cells do we have?

Thousands of kids attended the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering EXPO Day event today at Petco Park. The annual festival of STEM learning features all sorts of fun activities and demonstrations presented by dozens of local schools, universities, businesses and organizations.

Kids wandering from booth to booth were encouraged to ask a variety of fascinating questions. Young minds learned about physics, medical research, information technology, space exploration, environmental science . . . The number of scientific subjects seemed unlimited.

Fun experiments were performed. Conclusions resulted. More questions arose.

That’s how science works!

As I wandered about the festival I discovered some questions that curious kids might ask…

Thousands of curious kids attend EXPO Day at Petco Park during the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.
Thousands of curious kids attended EXPO Day at Petco Park during the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.
To help support STEM learning in San Diego and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, read this banner.
To help support STEM learning in San Diego and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, read this banner.
How is curiosity a driving force behind human progress and development.
How is curiosity a driving force behind human progress and development?
What is in snot. How does mucus neutralize an invading virus.
What is in snot? How does mucus neutralize an invading virus?
How does a snake move.
How does a snake move?
Why is math important. Why are puzzles so much fun.
Why is math important? Why are puzzles so stimulating?
What are amino acids.
What are amino acids?
What is symmetry. Why is it found in plants and animals.
What is symmetry? Why is it found in plants and animals?
Can creative people and scientists be superheroes
Can creative people and scientists be real superheroes?
Can science be fun. Can you make a rap song about something scientific.
Can science be entertaining? Can you invent a rap song about something scientific?
What is a molecule.
What is a molecule? What is an atom? Is anything smaller than an atom?
What is oobleck. Where did the word come from. How do you make it.
What is oobleck? What Dr. Seuss book did the word come from?
How do you make a secret code. How do you decipher a code.
How do you make a secret code? How do you decipher a code?
Can little robots destroy cancer. Why do earthquakes become so strong in some cases.
Can little robots destroy cancer? Why do earthquakes become so strong in some cases?
What is light.
What is light?
How does a flamingo become pink.
How does a flamingo become pink?
What is static electricity.
What is static electricity?
What are comets made of.
What are comets made of?
How was the first cell created. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
How was the first cell created? How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
What is the extracellular matrix.
What is the extracellular matrix?
How does your heart work. How do you keep it healthy.
How does your heart work? How do you keep it healthy?
How do we stop pollution.
How do we stop pollution?
Is fusion the energy for the future of mankind.
Is fusion the energy for the future of mankind?
How can we remember many things like language. Why are some people so tall when their parents are so short.
How can we remember many things like language? Why are some people so tall when their parents are so short?
Why does a jellyfish glow.
Why does a jellyfish glow?
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish.
Why is this silly guy acting like a jellyfish?
How does the Earth stay in orbit. How can people help the Earth stay healthy.
How does the Earth stay in orbit? How can people help the Earth stay healthy?
What is it like to be in space. How do you become an astronaut.
What does it feel like to be in outer space? How do you become an astronaut?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Aviation history at Waldo Dean Waterman Park.

A small public park, recently created in Bankers Hill, is named for San Diego aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman.
A small public park, recently created in Bankers Hill, is named for San Diego aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman.

Last month a small public park opened in Bankers Hill at the edge of narrow Maple Canyon. The park is named after Waldo Dean Waterman, an inventor and early aviation pioneer who was the first in San Diego to fly a heavier-than-air machine. He made that flight into Maple Canyon in 1909, at the age of fifteen!

Waterman experimented with unique aeronautical designs for most of his life. He invented the first tail-less monoplane in the United States, called the Whatsit, which was the very first aircraft in history to use now standard tricycle landing gear. He then designed the Arrowbile, which was the first successful flying car!

Waldo Dean Waterman Park is a beautiful and inspiring addition to our city. For generations to come, the park will remain a living monument to a visionary man who made several important contributions to aviation history!

A resident of Bankers Hill walks his dog through the beautiful park. Local aviation history was made here in 1909.
A resident of Bankers Hill walks his dog through the beautiful park. Local aviation history was made here in 1909.
Beautiful blooms at Waldo Dean Waterman Park in Bankers Hill.
Beautiful blooms at Waldo Dean Waterman Park in Bankers Hill.
Sign summarizes the life and accomplishments of Early Bird aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman, a resident of San Diego. He flew a glider at the age of 15 from this site into Maple Canyon below.
Sign summarizes the life and accomplishments of Early Bird aviation pioneer Waldo Dean Waterman, a resident of San Diego. He flew a glider at the age of 15 from this site into Maple Canyon below. (Click image to enlarge.)
Plaque dated July 1, 1959 commemorates Waldo D. Waterman for his many contributions to the science of flight.
Plaque dated July 1, 1959 commemorates Waldo D. Waterman for his many contributions to the science of flight.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Cool robots invade Maker Faire San Diego!

Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.
Flames rise from the fingertips of Robot Resurrection at 2017 Maker Faire San Diego in Balboa Park.

Balboa Park has been invaded! Cool robots of every size and description are roving throughout the park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

Maker Faire San Diego seems to grow bigger every year. During this amazing event, eye-popping inventions and marvels of technology take over the heart of Balboa Park and many of its museums.

This morning I walked around feasting my mind on all sorts of creative stuff. Students, inventors, hobbyists and local clubs were proudly showing off their unique ideas and feats of engineering. Examples of 3D printing and robotics were everywhere.

Maker Faire San Diego continues in Balboa Park through Sunday. If you can, check it out for yourself!

Here are a few of the cool robots you might see!

2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
2017 Maker Faire San Diego features lots of very cool robots, including 28 foot tall Robot Resurrection.
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot!
A human operator emerges from the chest of the gigantic flame-throwing robot! If this thing could walk it would be a formidable battle robot!
Human and robot fingers meet.
Human and robot fingers meet.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here's one.
Robot Resurrection has a couple of tiny pals. Here’s one.
Here's the other!
Here’s the other!
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned again to Maker Faire San Diego.
The very cool Electric Giraffe has returned to the annual Maker Faire San Diego.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall.
The Electric Giraffe can move about while using an array of sensors in its head. When the neck is raised, this crowd-pleasing robot is 17 feet tall!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
This cute cow robot is named Milky White. It can move its eyeballs, eyelids, ears, tail and jaws!
People at San Diego's annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
People at San Diego’s annual Maker Faire in Balboa Park check out a very creative robot designed by a friendly young man.
Many schools from around San Diego are demonstrating their robot and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
Many schools from around San Diego demonstrate robots and other engineering projects during Maker Faire.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Robotics Society of Southern California has a sophisticated humanoid robot that moves realistically.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
The Glendale Robotics Academy had their Party Rover on display in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
Kids check out another robot in the garden.
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
A performance artist becomes a fun robot. People walking down El Prado posed for photos!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
This robot named Darth Zamboni was created by the Top Hat Technicians of High Tech High North County. It launches balls!
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Small autonomous cars on a track inside the San Diego History Center. They were being controlled remotely in order to gather navigational data.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
Autonomous car technology being developed today utilizes deep computer learning.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that they built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
A student participating in the First Robotics Competition demonstrates a small vehicle that their team built. Many robots can be seen up close in the San Diego History Center.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
This competitive robot corrals balls and then launches them.
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!
Cool robots of every size and description are on display throughout Balboa Park during 2017 Maker Faire San Diego!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to share and enjoy!

Cool photos of creativity at Maker Faire San Diego!

A huge spider-like working octopod vehicle on display in the Plaza de Panama at 2016 Maker Faire San Diego!
A huge spider-like working octopod vehicle on display in the Plaza de Panama at 2016 Maker Faire San Diego!

Check out some cool photos! I took these this morning at 2016 Maker Faire San Diego which is being held this weekend in Balboa Park!

This now annual event–I believe this is the second year–attracts creative people of every type: engineers, inventors, dreamers, artists, students . . .  If the human imagination can envision it, these folks will build it!

If you are a dreamer and a doer, head down to Balboa Park and be inspired!

Maker Faire San Diego has taken over Balboa Park this weekend. The annual event features creations and creators who like building cool stuff!
Maker Faire San Diego has taken over Balboa Park this weekend. The annual event features fantastic creations and the inspired creators who like building cool stuff!
This super cool octopod moves slowly forward and backward using its spider-like feet. I learned that it doesn't steer very well, however.
This super cool octopod moves slowly forward and backward using its spider-like feet. I’d love to sit inside and drive it! I learned that it doesn’t steer very well, however.
In the morning, before the Maker Faire officially opened, I spotted two cupcake cars heading through Balboa Park!
In the morning, before the Maker Faire officially opened, I spotted two cupcake cars heading through Balboa Park!
This guy was flying what appeared to be a huge model of a Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer down Balboa Park's El Prado!
This guy was flying what appeared to be a huge model of a Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer down Balboa Park’s El Prado!
A bunch of Maker Faire exhibitors set up on Saturday morning in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park.
A bunch of Maker Faire exhibitors set up on Saturday morning in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park.
This human powered submarine was created by a team of students at UCSD. It competed in the International Submarine Race and was propelled by a 3-D printed fin.
This human powered submarine was created by a team of students at UCSD. It competed in the International Submarine Race and was propelled by a 3-D printed fin.
This cool robot was created by high school students, namely High Tech High's Top Hat Technicians. It competed in an event where a ball had to be shot at a goal.
This cool robot was created by high school students, namely High Tech High’s Top Hat Technicians. It competed in an event where a ball had to be shot at a goal.
Make your own molecule using this cardboard Molecube!
Make your own molecule using this cardboard Molecube!
These awesome guitars were made by students in a special STEM Guitar-Building class at San Diego City College.
These awesome guitars were made by students in a special STEM Guitar-Building class at San Diego City College.
The Ghostbusters ECTO-1 vehicle has arrived for Maker Faire San Diego, as well as a Jeep from Jurassic Park.
The Ghostbusters ECTO-1 vehicle has arrived for Maker Faire San Diego, as well as a Jeep from Jurassic Park.
Commissioner Gordon must be nearby. I spotted his Gotham Police Department vehicle.
Commissioner Gordon must be nearby. I spotted his Gotham Police Department vehicle.
A tiny house would be built here during the Maker Faire weekend. When I first walked by, the floor was being laid down.
A tiny house would be built here during the Maker Faire weekend. When I first walked by, the floor was being laid down.
About an hour later, one wall was already up!
About an hour later, one wall was already up!
The Electric Giraffe returned for 2016 Maker Faire San Diego. It walks, talks, and has become quite a phenomenon. It has even appeared at the White House!
The Electric Giraffe returned for 2016 Maker Faire San Diego. It walks, talks, and has become quite a phenomenon. It has even appeared at the White House!
The Electric Giraffe is 17 feet tall when its neck is fully raised. Its horns (actually ossicones) appear to be lava lamps!
The Electric Giraffe is 17 feet tall when its neck is fully raised. Its “horns” (actually ossicones) appear to be lava lamps!
These creators at Maker Faire San Diego were building the Temple for Youtopia. It's an interlocking plywood parabaloid with a single light source at it's focal point.
These creators at Maker Faire San Diego were building the Temple for Youtopia. It’s an interlocking plywood parabaloid with a single light source at it’s focal point. When finished, light shines out everywhere.
A similar Temple is built each year at Burning Man and set on fire.
A similar Temple is built each year at Burning Man and set on fire.
I noticed a lot of cool Star Wars cosplay at 2016 Maker Faire San Diego.
I noticed a lot of cool Star Wars cosplay at 2016 Maker Faire San Diego.
Star Wars cosplay between Balboa Park's House of Hospitality and the Japanese Friendship Garden.
I caught this Star Wars cosplay between Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality and the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Back in Balboa Park's central Plaza de Panama, the San Diego Sabers engaged in a fast-paced lightsaber battle!
Back in Balboa Park’s central Plaza de Panama, the San Diego Sabers engaged in a fast-paced lightsaber battle!
Enthusiasts in cool costumes engage in lightsaber combat as a crowd watches during 2016 Maker Faire San Diego!
Enthusiasts in cool protective costumes engage in lightsaber combat as a crowd watches during 2016 Maker Faire San Diego!
Anybody passing by was invited to Paint a Prius near the San Diego Automotive Museum!
Anybody passing by was invited to Paint a Prius near the San Diego Automotive Museum!
Kids have a blast in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Air-propelled rockets were flying all over the place.
Kids have a blast in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Air-propelled rockets were flying all over the place.
Kids at Maker Faire San Diego test a carbon dioxide cannon, made from a garbage can!
Kids at Maker Faire San Diego test a carbon dioxide cannon, made from a garbage can!
This remote control robot batter was swinging wildly at beach balls. A rather amusing scene! (Wish I'd taken a better photo.)
This remote control robot batter was swinging wildly at beach balls. A rather amusing scene! (Wish I’d taken a better photo.)
Here comes AR-Duo, the Caloric Rover, a cool steampunk rolling doohickey which is beyond awesome.
Here comes AR-Duo, the Caloric Rover, a cool steampunk rolling doohickey which is beyond awesome.
There's just too much fun at 2016 Maker Faire San Diego! Head over to Balboa Park this weekend!
There’s just too much fun at 2016 Maker Faire San Diego! Head over to Balboa Park this weekend!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego!  Are you curious?  There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Cool photos: OB Pier celebrates 50th anniversary!

Visitors to the Ocean Beach Pier during its 50th anniversary celebration look at posters with information that concern the amazing concrete pier's construction and history.
Visitors to the Ocean Beach Pier during its 50th anniversary celebration look at posters containing information about the amazing concrete pier’s construction and history.

I enjoyed a walk along the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier this morning around 10 o’clock, just as the pier’s 50th anniversary celebration got underway! One of my favorite places in San Diego, the OB Pier has a fascinating history.

Here are some cool photos of what I saw and learned! To enlarge the posters containing historical information, click the images!

A table near the OB Pier gate welcomes people to the 50th anniversary celebration with flyers and event info.
A table near the OB Pier gate welcomes people to the 50th anniversary celebration with flyers and event info.
This San Diego Fishing Pier plaque was unveiled on July 2, 1966, 50 years ago when the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier first opened to the public.
This San Diego Fishing Pier plaque was unveiled on July 2, 1966, 50 years ago when the engineering marvel known today as the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier first opened to the public.
A good crowd turned out for the beloved pier's big day! Here we are looking west toward the Pacific Ocean.
A good crowd turned out for the beloved pier’s big day! Here we are looking west toward the Pacific Ocean.
Later in the day, a new plaque would be unveiled near the stairs down to the beach.
Later in the day, a new plaque would be unveiled near the stairs down to the beach.
Turning for a moment back east toward Ocean Beach. It's a pleasant if somewhat overcast morning in July.
Turning for a moment back east toward Ocean Beach. It’s a pleasant if somewhat overcast morning in early July.
A stand up paddle surfer next to the OB Pier. It's possible to watch a lot of surfing action from the top of the pier on almost any given day.
A stand up paddle surfer next to the OB Pier. It’s possible to watch a lot of surfing action from the top of the pier on almost any given day.
The familiar old Pier Cafe has a brand new red, white and blue paint job!
The familiar old Pier Cafe has a brand new red, white and blue paint job!
People were poking their heads through a couple of fun photo props, set up just for the special occasion.
People were poking their heads through a couple of fun photo props, set up just for the special occasion.
As we approach the hub of the anniversary event, just past the Walking on Water Cafe, a lady peers through the jaws of a shark!
As we approach the hub of the anniversary event, just past the Walking on Water Cafe, a lady peers through the jaws of a shark!
The United States Postal Service had a temporary philatelic station out on the OB Pier! Anyone could have a special pier postcard stamped with a custom-designed postmark!
The United States Postal Service had a temporary philatelic station out on the OB Pier! Anyone could have a special pier postcard stamped with a custom-designed postmark!
Before the OB Pier was built, the Mission Bay Bridge across the San Diego River was used by trolleys, cars and fishermen. The Del Monte Avenue Steel Pier's construction was halted due to WWII.
Before the OB Pier was built, the Mission Bay Bridge across the San Diego River was used by trolleys, cars and fishermen. It no longer exists. The Del Monte Avenue Steel Pier’s construction was halted due to WWII.
The Souvenir Dedication Program Book dated July 2, 3, and 4, 1966. The original opening celebration was also around the Fourth of July!
The Souvenir Dedication Program Book dated July 2, 3, and 4, 1966. The original opening celebration was also around the Fourth of July!
Planning the pier. Historical photos of the people who commissioned and built the truly amazing 1971 feet long concrete pier--the longest on the West Coast. Its original purpose was simply for fishing, out beyond rock and kelp beds!
Planning the pier. Historical photos of the people who commissioned and built the truly amazing 1971 feet long pier–the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. Its original purpose was simply for fishing, out beyond rock and kelp beds!
Engineering the OB Pier was no small feat. Thirteen months were required for the pier's completion because of various design changes.
Engineering the OB Pier was no small feat. Thirteen months were required for the pier’s completion because of various design changes.
Poster shows photos of the OB Pier construction back in the 1960s. 2 foot diameter piles were place 12 feet deep into bedrock. Slabs placed on top were welded securely.
Poster shows photos of the OB Pier construction back in the 1960s. The 2 foot diameter piles were place 12 feet deep into bedrock. Slabs were placed on top and everything was welded securely.
I couldn't help but notice a surfer in this old photograph! Nothing can deter a good ride on the mighty ocean, even half a century ago!
I couldn’t help but notice a surfer in this old photograph! No obstacle can deter a good ride on the mighty ocean, even half a century ago!
Photo shows concrete pilings and steel. The pier has survived countless huge storms over the decades.
Photo shows concrete pilings and steel. The pier has survived countless huge storms over the decades.
A poster highlights events at today's Ocean Beach Pier 50th anniversary. There will be spectacular fireworks this Fourth of July!
A poster highlights events at today’s Ocean Beach Pier 50th anniversary. There will be spectacular fireworks this Fourth of July!
Photos of the opening celebration weekend in 1966. Governor Edmund Brown cut the ribbon and cast the first fishing line . . . but gave up after 5 minutes! Festivities included parades, a surfing and variety show, and a sandcastle contest.
Photos of the opening celebration weekend in 1966. California Governor Edmund Brown cut the ribbon and cast the first fishing line . . . but gave up after 5 minutes! Festivities included parades, a surfing and variety show, and a sandcastle contest.
This cool dude gave me the thumbs up while hanging a display for the OB Pier's 50th anniversary. That's Ocean Beach style!
This cool dude gave me the thumbs up while hanging a display for the Ocean Beach Pier’s 50th anniversary. That’s OB style!
Generations of San Diegans have been fishing here for half a century. I wonder . . . how many fish have been caught over the years?
Generations of San Diegans have been fishing here for half a century. I wonder . . . how many fish have been caught over the years?
A gull and the OB Pier hover over the restless ocean. This 180 feet extension of the south arm at the pier's end was added at a later time, and remains a favorite spot for fishing way out where the water is around 30 feet deep.
A gull and the OB Pier hover over the restless ocean. This 180 feet extension of the south arm at the pier’s end was added at a later time, and remains a favorite spot for fishing way out where the water is around 30 feet deep.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of fun photos for you to enjoy!

How to make fun, simple science stuff for kids!

A mad scientist at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering shows a kid how to have some fun with magnets!
A mad scientist at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering shows a kid how to have some fun with magnets!

Here are 14 different simple science and engineering projects that kids are sure to love! I’ve included lots of instructions and photographs–courtesy of many exhibitors at this year’s San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering Expo, held yesterday at Petco Park. I also blogged about the event last year.

Check out this fun stuff! Feel free to share! First up . . . how to make slime!

HOW TO MAKE SLIME

Who doesn’t love slime? Slime is fun! And making it is easy! These instructions are courtesy of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, who had a fascinating exhibit at the big STEM education event held at Petco Park.

Just click the image with easy directions to enlarge it! You can enlarge the other images on my blog in the same way, if you want a closer look. Feel free to share these useful how-to photos on Pinterest or with your friends, if you’d like!

How to make slime. You need borax powder, water, white glue and food coloring. Click each image to enlarge instructions.
How to make slime. You need borax powder, water, white glue and food coloring. Click each image to enlarge instructions.

HOW TO MAKE A FUN PAPER ROCKET

Follow the diagram to cut and fold a simple paper rocket with paper clip! These instructions are courtesy of the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. Kids love the world-class museum. It’s one of the coolest places in San Diego!

How to make a cool paper rocket, using a rectangular piece of paper, scissors and a paper clip.
How to make a cool paper rocket, using a rectangular piece of paper, scissors and a paper clip.

HOW TO FOLD AN ORIGAMI BOAT

Look at these instructions on how to fold your very own origami boat! My friends at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park provided this information! I even once made one! (And if I can succeed, believe me–anyone can do it!)

How to fold an easy origami boat that really floats!
How to fold an easy origami boat that really floats!

HOW TO MAKE MATCHBOX ROCKETS THAT REALLY WORK!

Here’s how you can make a tiny rocket that actually works in much the same way as a real solid-fuel rocket. Wrap a single matchstick in a small strip of tin foil, then crimp one end. Look at my photos to get an idea of what to do. Be careful! You know what they say about playing with matches! Have an adult help out!

Oh, I forgot to mention. This cool experiment is courtesy of the Magnolia Science Academy!

How to make matchbox rockets and why it works. This is for older, supervised kids. Fire can be dangerous.
How to make matchbox rockets and why they work. This is for older, supervised kids. Fire can be dangerous.
Wrap a match in a small strip of aluminum foil.
Wrap a match in a small strip of aluminum foil.
Crimp the match head end of the tube (the rocket's nose) so exhaust pressure doesn't escape in that direction.
Crimp the match head end of the tube (the rocket’s nose) so exhaust pressure doesn’t escape in that direction.
Prepare for lift-off from a clever, fireproof launching platform! Safely apply flame and let fly!
Prepare for lift-off from a clever, fireproof launching platform! Safely apply flame and let fly!

HOW TO MAKE AN “AIRZOOKA” THAT SHOOTS CO2 RINGS!

Here’s another cool project I discovered at the Magnolia Science Academy booth. A student had created a simple “Airzooka” that shoots perfect white cloudy rings of carbon dioxide!

The trashcan with a hole part looks easy. To create the membrane that launches the CO2 rings, you’ll need to use a somewhat flexible material, like a plastic sheet. Once the can is filled with gas, just slap it with your hand and out comes a “smoke ring”!

How to make an "airzooka" using a plastic trashcan with a hole at one end and a pliable membrane on the other. Fill with carbon dioxide and shoot rings by hitting the membrane!
How to make an “airzooka” using a plastic trashcan with a hole at one end and a pliable membrane on the other. Fill with carbon dioxide gas and shoot white rings by hitting the membrane!
The "airzooka" is loaded with carbon dioxide gas, using either dry ice (be careful) or a fog machine.
The “airzooka” is loaded with carbon dioxide gas, using either dry ice (be extremely careful) or a fog machine.

HOW TO CRAFT A FUN PAPER BAG HAT

What can you do with a paper grocery bag? Crumple it up a bit and form a Mad Hatter hat! Use your imagination and maybe a bit of glue!

This crafty idea is provided by the San Diego County Fair. This summer’s fair will have an Alice in Wonderland theme! I can’t wait!

How to make a Mad Hatter hat with crumpled paper bags and lots of fun stuff tied and glued on!
How to make a Mad Hatter hat with crumpled paper bags and lots of fun stuff tied and glued on!
You can apply ribbons, glitter, feathers, playing cards, whatever you like to fashion your crazy Mad Hatter hat! Okay, I don't suppose this really is science, but who cares!
You can apply ribbons, glitter, feathers, playing cards, whatever you like to fashion your crazy Mad Hatter hat! Okay, I don’t suppose this really is science, but who cares!

HOW TO MAKE A TINY PARACHUTE

I remember creating one of these when I was a kid. I made my parachute for a toy action figure! Just look at the picture and go to work! Pretty simple!

This parachute was put together by to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. The Fleet, located in Balboa Park, is a super cool place with loads and loads of fun hands-on science exhibits for kids, plus an awesome IMAX theater and planetarium!

How to make a simple small parachute with a Dixie cup or object providing weight, string (or similar material) and coffee filter.
How to make a simple small parachute with a Dixie cup or object providing weight, string (or similar material) and coffee filter.

HOW TO MAKE A SUPER COOL STAR WARS COSTUME!

Okay. No instructions here. Just imagination. That cool costume is actually made of all sorts of Star Wars toys! Incredible. I’m guessing that wicked-looking dude is on the Dark Side.

I believe this guy was part of the STAR WARS Steampunk Recycled Fashion and Engineering Challenge.

Yeah, making a cool costume out of Star Wars toys might take a bit of glue. But all you really need is determination and imagination! (And maybe a credit card.)
Yeah, making a cool costume out of Star Wars toys might take a bit of glue. But all you really need is determination and imagination! (And maybe a credit card.)

HOW TO USE YOUR IMAGINATION TO BUILD ANYTHING!

What are we building here? Absolutely anything! It just takes some imagination!

Just look at some of the common household items one can use to invent cool things. I’ll bet you have some of this stuff in your own home.

I took this pic at a fun table display in the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab tent.

What can a person make with this stuff? Anything!
What can a person make with this stuff? Anything!
Objects you can use creatively include popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, straws, tubes, tape and buttons.
Objects you can use creatively include popsicle sticks, plastic spoons, straws, tubes, tape and buttons.

HOW TO MIX UP SOME SNAIL GOOP

Slime…snail goop…boogers…it’s all the same good stuff. At least it’s the same mixture of borax powder, water and white glue. A truly yucky and wonderful substance. Science rocks!

Thanks (maybe) to the Steam Maker Workshop for this gloppy sight.

Okay, snail goop is pretty much the same stuff as slime. But I like the name!
Okay, snail goop is pretty much the same stuff as slime. But I like the name!
If a snail made that much goop, it would be a monster. Fortunately, that monstrous snail would be slow.
If a snail made that much goop, it would be a monster. Fortunately, that monstrous snail would be slow.
Kids and curious adults were learning all sorts of cool concepts at the 2016 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering at Petco Park.
Kids and curious adults were learning all sorts of cool concepts at the 2016 San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering at Petco Park.

HOW TO CREATE A 3-D OPTICAL ILLUSION WITH STRING

Here’s a cool experiment that demonstrates concepts in math and spatial geometry. Perhaps imagine that the string is a ray of light. From the “tower”, stretch the string so that it touches each of the four top corners of your cube, and plot where the string finally reaches your piece of paper. Connect those points with lines the way my photographs show, then look at the image from the end of the string! It looks like some sort of weird optical illusion, but you’ll see the result actually makes sense!

This exhibit was provided by San Diego State University’s InforMath Collaborative.

By using a string attached to this tower, you can plot the projected corners of a cube or other three dimensional object onto a flat two dimensional surface.
By using a string attached to this tower, you can plot the projected corners of a cube or other three dimensional object onto a flat two dimensional surface.
After drawing the cube's base and drawing lines to connect the square with the projected corners, I ended up with this cool figure.
After drawing the cube’s base and drawing lines to connect the square with the projected corners, I ended up with this cool figure.
When I peered at the image through a hole near the end of the string, I saw a perfect cube! Cool!
When I peered at the image through a hole near the end of the string, I saw a perfect cube! Cool!

HOW TO ASSEMBLE A COOL TENSEGRITY CONSTRUCT

Oh, man! I think you could construct most of this cool stuff with Tinkertoys. Look at the diagrams and go wild! You’ll need lots of rubber bands!

Tensegrity is another science concept that was being demonstrated at the STEM education event. A friendly gentleman explained that the sticks are like bones and the rubber bands are like muscles. So human beings and other critters are examples of tensegrity!

Oops. I apologize for not knowing who put on this exhibit.

What the heck is tensegrity? A funny word created by Buckminster Fuller. You can use rubber bands to add tension to popsicle sticks and create cool stuff.
What the heck is tensegrity? A funny word created by Buckminster Fuller. You can use rubber bands to add tension to popsicle sticks and create cool stuff.
Check it out! Tensegrity is also sometimes called tensional integrity or floating compression.
Check it out! Tensegrity is also sometimes called tensional integrity or floating compression.
These guys formed a huge tensegrity thingamajig using pipes and big rubber bands. I suppose one could use bungee cords, too.
These guys formed a huge tensegrity thingamajig using pipes and big rubber bands. I suppose one could use bungee cords, too.
Look at all the tensegrity objects you can make!
Look at all the tensegrity objects you can make!

HOW TO MAKE A VORTEX CANNON

Here’s a pic that has exact instructions on how to build a vortex air cannon. Looks really easy! (As usual, click the image to enlarge it.)

Uh, oh. I don’t know who created this exhibit, either. I forgot to take a picture with their name. My research got a bit sloppy. Sorry about that. Whoever had this table–very cool!

The vortex cannon shoots air in--you guessed it--a vortex.
The vortex cannon shoots air in–you guessed it–a vortex.
To make a vortex cannon, insert a cut water bottle into a plastic Solo cup.
To make a vortex cannon, insert a cut narrow water bottle into a larger plastic Solo cup, just like the photo.
Then cut off the nozzle of a balloon, and stretch the balloon over the open end of the cup.
Then cut off the nozzle of a balloon, and stretch the balloon over the open end of the cup.

HOW TO STIR UP LAVA IN A CUP

Finally, I’ve heard of java in a cup. But lava in a cup? Why not?

Adding salt to the floating oil makes the blob sink. It has become more dense than water. When the salt dissolves, the oil rises again!

Those instructions look super simple!

To make "lava in a cup", use food coloring, vegetable oil and salt! It's easy!
To make “lava in a cup”, use food coloring, vegetable oil and salt! It’s easy!
You can then use that colorful lava in the cup to make some colorful art! Awesome!
You can then use that colorful lava in the cup to make some colorful art! Awesome!

That’s it! You now have a whole bunch of cool and creative science projects to try out! Have a blast!

Hey! Are you a kid? (Or even a boring old adult?) Try starting a blog like Cool San Diego Sights! You can blog about anything in the whole wide world. It’s free and fun! And it’s pretty easy, too!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can enjoy more Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you want to make the world a better place? Please join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.