Friday, December 31, 2010

The Funnel-o-Tron 2010

This is my how-we're-ending-the-year post. It's a bit of a tradition for me, if I have the time, to say something on this blog every end of December.

First, it's fun to look back and read what I wrote about a year ago. This snapshot was my final post for 2009. We were still all bright-eyed and excited about having moved to our new place. We are still grateful for this of course and will always be. All the extra space has been awesome for my clutter collecting boys. Me? Well, I try to think of the bigger picture (all the learning that happens as a result of collecting mountains of stuff LOL) and let it go...until, something snaps and I go on a de-cluttering frenzy. I tend to do that often enough to prevent too many things from piling up so it's under control for now.

Last year, the boys embarked on learning to airbrush. This year, with the hubby home and ready to help, kiddo has been building something that he calls the Funnel-o-Tron (inspired by a funnel-like wishing well he spied in a mall). He drew out some plans and the boys went off to buy supplies.

Supplies on hand, kiddo learned how to trace a large circle on cardboard. Measuring the circumference plus cutting carefully with scissors also featured prominently in the activity. He then learned how to make that into a conical shape and how to insert a lip made of cardboard and firm up the sides with dowels so as not to make it too floppy. Hubby helped him cut out windows in a box and I made the hugely valuable contribution (grin) of matching card stock to line the box's bottom (hey, packaging is everything, didn't you know?). The boys used leftover wrapping paper tubes to fashion a chute and then with some clay to position the funnels appropriately, kiddo taped the whole contraption together.

I took a video of the Funnel-o-tron v2.0 in action (err...with Celtic music in the background for added effect). It looks simple enough but watching those ball bearings spin can be quite addictive! We've done it with about 5-6 balls at the same time since this video was taken. Simple, beautiful, entertaining, incredibly fun physics.

Version 3: The kiddo wanted more special effects so after consulting Dad for ideas, kiddo rigged up a little switch using his electronics kit. If the ball hits the foil card after exiting the Funnel-o-tron, the switch lights up! For added cool factor, kiddo is going to add more tubes to the device. Yup! I smell a game idea brewing too. He's already drawn up plans for assigning points depending on where the ball exits.

Decluttering 101 tip: don't throw away wrapping paper tubes and boxes! Keep tons of packing tape on hand too.

As new year resolutions go, this is what I'm hoping we'll achieve more in 2011. Fun, engaging, real-life projects, completed for the excitement of it and not just for educational value, if you know what I mean.

Have a good one folks!


  1. This is way-cool; well done, Kiddo! :)

  2. Thanks Michelle...LOL, after all that excitement, the project lies forgotten today...sigh, talk about sudden impulses and swift endings.

  3. Suji, this looks like the kind of project my Junior would LOVE!

    I have some books you might like. Send me an email, and I'll tell you more. (c_spaghettiATyahooDOTcom)


Comments are moderated and I will approve your comment as soon as I can. Thanks for taking the time to write a note!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...