Winter classroom project

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Project by InsideTheBox posted 12-19-2015 10:04 PM 888 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Teaching after-school art classes (4-6 grade), what better way to introduce physics and mechanical terms than to start with a working, functioning axle? Of course it got way out of hand but the kids each got a nice souvenir… Assignment: student designs a car on a 4 1/2×5 paper, then I take them home, cut them out of poplar and bring them back, students sand and paint, I take them home again for clear coat spray and drill axle holes, bring them back, students glue axles/wheels into car bodies….
This project was an excuse to get a new drill press. Thank you, John Hutchinson, for bringing to my attention how cool and versatile and easy-to-use this piece of equipment is!
Have to say I’m glad I live in California where the weather lets me do emergency last-minute spraying. School wants me to do it again for spring fundraiser, but now I feel like I’ve been there, done it. Almost 40 of them. Maybe little model airplanes now instead? Wait—what am I getting myself into? Gad.

(PS – photo #3 was designed by one of the students to challenge me – I cut out his design then watched as he started using it to “shoot” other kids in the classroom – I told him sorry, no guns in the classroom, I will modify it back into a car… when I brought back the modified version, he didn’t want it any more. So I took it home and painted it. Now it’s a PeaceMobile -yeah, I’m from California!- and he gave it to the supervisor in charge of the after-school program, who loves it and put it on display in the library)

-- There's no such thing as a mistake; only a quick change of plans.

3 comments so far

View JFred's profile


210 posts in 1787 days

#1 posted 12-19-2015 11:51 PM

Great learning experiance for the kids, but a big at-a-boy and a pat on the back for you to take the time to teach these young kids.

View majuvla's profile


13637 posts in 3109 days

#2 posted 12-20-2015 05:10 AM

You are one of a kind teacher. Awesome way to bring interest for mechanic, art and woodworking to kids.Besides they made themselves proud colouring them such nice.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View gscott40's profile


6 posts in 4033 days

#3 posted 02-10-2016 04:32 PM

I just happened to find you original post on toy cars for elementary schools…which led me here. For what it is worth I am a retired shop teacher who taught elementary wood shop for 6 years back in the mid 1970’s…yeah I’m old. I get exhausted thinking about it. Kids at that age are pure energy.
Anyhow….I see you might do it again this spring…so I suggest you take a look at the web site. There are three sets of free plans at the top of the home page and the Play Pals might be of some interest to you. The plans provided are extensive and extremely well done. They download in pdf format and can easily be resized to fit ones needs. Five different car styles and a car hauler. I have a CNC (I know, not everyone does) and port the pdf files over to my CNC software and cut these little guys out of MDF which paints well.
Good luck…I do admire you for taking on this project. I no longer have that energy level.

-- George, Minnesota,

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