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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Silva

Tinkering by Fixing Bikes and Leaky Faucets … DIY Little Miss & Mr Fix It

Tinkering by Fixing Bikes and Leaky Faucets … DIY Little Miss & Mr Fix It

Here’s an approach for multiple free DIY STEM activities that will build confidence and also make you more productive over time by equipping your kids with experience to help you make simple repairs 🙂 At 20 / 25 points, be ready to ask your kids – both boys and especially girls – for help when something breaks, leaks or needs a tune-up.

What:  DIY Little Miss & Mr Fix It

Rating (out of 25): At 20 Points, the rating is Do IT!  (Fun = 4 + Confidence & Curiosity = 4 + STEM Aligned = 4, + Time Value = 3, +  Cost = 5

Cost:  Free (if you have the tools)

Age: 6+ (depending on the repair, this can scale … I’m 38 and I’m still tinkering).

Tinkering Ideas (be safe and use your judgement):

  1. Bicycle maintenance (example below)

  2. Fix a leaky faucet

  3. Change oil in your car

Approach (i.e. Bicycle maintenance example):

  1. The Exploratorium describes tinkering as “thinking with your hands and learning through doing. It’s slowing down and getting curious about the mechanics and mysteries of the everyday stuff around you.

  2. Tinkering with your bike – be it removing training wheels, adjusting seat / handle bars and general maintenance (i.e. chain is lubricated) – can build confidence by teaching kids to be persistent, not perfect.

  3. Ask questions about the different bike parts and its functions. What would happen if certain parts were removed? What happens when you ride your bike up-hill?

  4. Let your child pick and use the tools to get the job done.

  5. Celebrate making mistakes and discuss lessons learned. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Encourage resourcefulness and ask your child to consider other resources to learn from (i.e. You Tube How to Videos) before you step into help.

  6. Have fun and be safe.

STEM Lesson: Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” As it relates to this Bicycle example, even though we were just removing training wheels, we talked about the mechanics and science of bikes thanks to EXPLAINTHATSTUFF:

  1. Bikes efficiently convert the power our bodies produce into kinetic energy (energy of movement). A bicycle can convert around 90 percent of the energy you supply at the pedals into kinetic energy that powers you along. That’s great for health and the environment.

  2. A bike is a device that can magnify force. If you’re going uphill, you need to work against the force of gravity. If you’re going fast, you’re working against the force of air resistance (drag) pushing against your body.

#DIY #FixBicycle #Tinkering

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