Kinetic Contraptions: Build a Hovercraft, Airboat, and More with a Hobby Motor

Overview

Hobby motors—every workbench warrior has a few that have been pulled out of broken toys or rescued from old electronics kits. They’re cheap, available, and with Kinetic Contraptions, essential to build some ingenious moving creations. The two dozen contraptions found in this handy resource are assembled primarily from low-cost or recycled materials, batteries, and a single motor.

 

You’ll learn how to build vehicles that move across the land, over the sea, and through the ...

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Overview

Hobby motors—every workbench warrior has a few that have been pulled out of broken toys or rescued from old electronics kits. They’re cheap, available, and with Kinetic Contraptions, essential to build some ingenious moving creations. The two dozen contraptions found in this handy resource are assembled primarily from low-cost or recycled materials, batteries, and a single motor.

 

You’ll learn how to build vehicles that move across the land, over the sea, and through the air. Construct a hovercraft out of a Styrofoam plate, two corks, and binder clips. Build a double paddle-wheeler out of paint stirrers, plastic bottles, and disposable knives. Kinetic Contraptions even has "bizarro” devices, such as a waterless snow globe, a tornado in a bottle, and a mechanical bubble maker—no blowing required!

 

Each project is clearly explained through materials and tools lists, stepby- step instructions with photographs, and scientific background on the concepts being explored. Budding engineers will get experience working with tools, testing simple circuits, modifying and improving their designs, and building unique contraptions of their own with the skills they’ve developed.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Gear heads, physics buffs, and model builders are the potential audience for this book that's reminiscent of Popular Science magazine, but with small, poor-quality black-and-white photos depicting the steps to create various vehicles. Projects, including the creation of land, air, water, spinning, and "bizarro" machines, follow detailed opening chapters focusing on safety, materials, and basic circuitry. They also describe how to make switches, and how to wire batteries in serial and parallel configurations to construct a "roach" or a motor with a battery pack and a switch that will be used in projects throughout the book. The models are crafted out of materials such as Styrofoam, wood, film canister lids, wires, and brass fasteners, and, of course, magnets, batteries, tape, and hot glue. Boxed insets in each chapter explain the science behind the machines; trouble-shooting suggestions anticipate problems and suggest solutions. The author peppers the dense text with witty comments and asides, but it's clear this is a book for dedicated enthusiasts. The help of a knowledgeable adult will be necessary for most projects. An appendix of supply sources completes the package.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556529573
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Curt Gabrielson is the director of the Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop and author of Stomp Rockets, Catapults, and Kaleidoscopes.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2010

    We've shared this book with friends

    Other 8 and 9-year olds we know enjoy this book and want to build everything in it! Fun for the Dads too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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