Thursday, January 11, 2018

Inventions: Reverse Engineering

One way to discover how something works is to take it apart. 

So we got out our screwdrivers and began the task of disassembling a variety of wind-up toys. 

First of all, we took a close look at the outside of the toy.

"It moves its arms and legs. This is what the winder looks like."

We wondered what the inside looked like and how it worked.

Then we slowly started to open up the toys, drawing each part as it came apart. 

We found a white box inside and had to pry it open.

This is what we found inside!

Comments heard during this activity:
  • "I told you that this was one big yellow piece."
  • "I was not expecting that there would be so much room and just a little thing inside."
  • "I have a tool box at my Grandma's house."
  • "I'm not a master with a screw driver but I know Lefty Loosey."
  • "It comes with wheels."
  • "Those are gears!"
  • "Mine has 5 gears!"
  • "Can we put them back together?"
  • "What? There is something inside that we have to open?"
  • "Maybe there's something inside that and something inside that and...."
  • "There's sheet metal inside!"
  • "It's like a spring." 
  • "It's wound up with the winder. Look!"
  • "Can you straighten it?"
  • "Let's try this."
  • I didn't know this is how a wind-up toy works!"
  • "Man, this is so incredible."
  • "This is the best day ever."

So many lessons learned. Here are a few:
  • Prediction
  • Observation
  • Small motor skills
  • Drawing and labeling one's findings
  • Collaboration
  • Analytical/critical thinking skills
  • How a wind-up toy works
  • Inspiration for making our own inventions?

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