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!
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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!
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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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 lots of fun! And it’s pretty easy, too!
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The Chula Vista Live Steamers is a club in San Diego’s South Bay. Members build and operate their own small “live steam” trains that people can actually ride!
These friendly hobbyists utilize an elaborate network of miniature train tracks in a public park; the layout is called the Sweetwater and Rohr Park Railroad. During public run days, which take place in Bonita’s grassy Rohr Park one Saturday and Sunday of each month, anyone can watch or ride the small trains! Or if you’re inclined, join and become a member! If you have kids, visit their website, and you can schedule birthday parties!
Today I spotted one steam and one diesel locomotive (which is actually powered by gasoline). It’s winter, so things are bit slow. On Labor Day, I was told, a gigantic railroading extravaganza takes places, with many different trains running simultaneously! If you’re a kid (or a kid at heart), I can only imagine how utterly fantastic it would be!
Whether you’re a railfan, a model train enthusiast, a maker, a dreamer, or just like to see something really unique and fun, head down to join in the action and you’ll have a great time!
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Get ready to see some super cool stuff! Here are a bunch of photos I took at Maker Faire San Diego this morning. The festival, which celebrates human creativity, with an emphasis on engineering and technology, is being held in Balboa Park all weekend long!
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A super gigantic fire-breathing robot is coming! You don’t believe me? I saw it today!
The amazing 28 foot tall mechanical man will be drawing a crowd in Balboa Park during the big Maker Faire event this weekend, but right now it’s lying in the Plaza de Panama being assembled!
Robot Resurrection, the name of the giant robot, is actually an articulating sculpture made from 95% airplane parts, piloted by a human operator in the metal torso. The cool creation is the brainchild of Shane Evans, who is based in Denver, Colorado. Robot Resurrection has thrilled kids and adults alike at Maker festivals all around the country!
Maker Faire kicks off Saturday at 10 am. At this epic celebration of technological and artistic innovation, all sorts of inventions and gizmos will be outside on display, including cupcake cars, a giant 12 foot electric giraffe, drones, and something called a Battlepond! Ten of Balboa Park’s museums will also participate, with related exhibits and cool events of their own! If you like this sort of stuff, you’d better go check it out! I’ll definitely be there!
The classic Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is located just west of First Avenue and crosses narrow Kate Sessions Canyon. It’s an amazing, breathtaking 375 feet long! Steel cables support a gently swaying passage through and above treetops, and a walk along its length feels like a small, romantic adventure. The bridge was designed by Edwin Capps, the city engineer who was also responsible for plans to dredge San Diego Bay, and who would go on to be elected mayor. (It was Capps who hired the rainmaker Charley Hatfield, the central character in one of San Diego’s most legendary tales! Perhaps I’ll blog about it one day…)
Built in 1912, the purpose of the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge was to provide easy access for those who lived to the west to trolley lines on Fourth and Fifth Avenue.
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Today I checked out a truly amazing event! Expo Day capped off the week-long San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the San Diego Science Festival), and brought out thousands of families and kids, eager to learn about science. STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, was Expo Day’s principal focus. The seventh annual event nearly burst the seams of downtown’s big Petco Park stadium. There were so many cool exhibits, so much stuff to see, I only managed to experience about half of it! My poor old brain nearly exploded!
Here is a bit of what I saw!
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