Big Al came home with a simple machine project over Christmas, and had to build a contraption that used 3 simple machines. At the same time, our state museum had an exhibit with examples of Da Vinci's drawings made into huge models.
We took all of the girls to see the exhibit last weekend. Whoever put it together was quite intelligent because many of them were hands-on. Cheesie and Blondie just wanted to touch EVERYTHING and make it work, T-Rex had been with her class, and used Da Vinci for her leadership project, so she was going in to great detail about all of the exhibits. It was great to listen to her because she remembered most of the information, and didn't need to stand there and read everything - so she obviously got a lot out of it. As Big Al and I walked through we were looking for examples of levers, pulley, inclined planes, etc - which each of them had.
So Big Al decided to make a candy dispenser and she and Brian spent today in the garage. There was some serious suffering for her project because they had to go to Home Depot 3 times (all of my girls hate that store) for things they didn't buy in the first place. I was worried this would be one of those projects where the parent had to do it and the kid got the credit, but Brian had her cutting boards and using the drill, spray painting, etc. He did have to help a lot with the engineering, but I think Big Al was enthusiastic about working on it. So how does it work? You take your candy, and pour it in the hole at the top. It collects in the funnel, and when the lever is pulled it releases the candy down the inclined plane to the candy dish waiting at the bottom.
Please don't point out to her that you could just pour the candy into the dish itself, she is quite proud of herself.