Necessity is the Mother of Invention

April 7, 2008 at 3:48 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with my parents visiting and the Regional History Fair for DD #1.  This history fair was the end of the line for DD#1’s project, as it was for all 4th and 5th graders.  However, her project took 2nd place in her division.  I’m quite happy with the results considering this was her first project of this sort! 

And now it is on to the next big school project, Creative Pursuits.  This one is a group project, in which they are required to build a car that will carry four pieces of chalk the distance of one meter, when placed in front of a box fan.  They also need to write and perform a skit.  I’m not quite sure how the two tasks relate to each other, but that’s the assignment.  Anyhow, we’ve been working/struggling with putting together wheels and axles that wil work well.  Her group had a Barbie car that they were taking apart for the wheels and that’s where the trouble started.

  1. The axles the wheels where attached to were not the width of the base of the car.
  2. In order to remove wheels an be able to use them, we needed to cut the axles, which required the use of a saws all.
  3. After cutting the axles, we discovered that the wheels do not turn independently of the axles.  We traded the old problem for a new one.
  4. I gave DD#1 some leftover irrigation tubing to cut and use to put around the axles and then attach the tubing to the bottom of the car to leave the axles free to turn.
  5. Tubing was too narrow to allow the axles to move freely.
  6. We decided that a trip to the hardware store would be necessary to find something bigger, and decided to go the next day.

The next morning, DD#1 had a new idea and got to work on it while I was doing some other things.  By the time I saw what she had done.  It looked like this.


See how she cut the notches and placed the axle?

Wow! I never would have thought of that! 




  1. Joe said,

    Wow, that’s quite a bit bigger than I was thinking of when you were telling me about it. When I suggested brass tubing and heavy piano wire axles, I was thinking of something probably 1/8 this size.

    Maybe DD#1 will become an engineer someday?

  2. JoAnn said,

    I think she has the right idea, although since the axle is not in the center of the wheel now, the wheels may not turn freely enough to keep the vehicle in motion, particularly since it is to be powered by a fan. Maybe it’s near center enough to not cause a problem.

    You should talk to Kent M. I’ll bet he’ll have some ideas too.

    What a creative solution! She is so smart!

  3. indianananaknits said,

    Keep up the good work, Sweetie Pie!!! 🙂

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