Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Reverse Engineering

My youngest son is all about engineering right now.  He wants to know how things work and why they work that way. He wants to be an inventor. He is a master of Lego and Minecraft.  To help him develop this interest, we are doing a course in "Reverse Engineering".  Each week I stop by a local thrift stores.  While there, I scour the shelves for mechanical items. 

He has a nice toolbox with a selection of tools already, so he just need the things to take apart.  The first thing he "Reverse Engineered" was an electric can opener. He took it apart as far as he could, then reassembled it and it did still work!  Then he took it apart and kept pieces like the cord and motor, screws and a few other parts.  He plans to eventually build something from all the useful parts he scavenges from these sacrificial projects. 

Lego is perfect for future engineers and their siblings. We spend was much time as possible with them. 

Reverse Engineering is even better when friends are visiting!  Here they are dissecting a food scale. Lots of learning happening and LOTS of fun!  I have a toaster ready for the next session and have my eye out for a rotary phone. I am also watching for a weed whacker or a lawn mower for small engine repair practice.  Next year, I hope he's ready for appliances! 

Practical skills are SO important in todays world! Seeing how things work is an integral part of practicality.  

Other resources:

The Way Things Work Now (on our wishlist)
How It's Made (I can't recommend this series highly enough!)
Friedhoffer books (this one and others!) 
Engineering for Kids (I haven't used this yet, but we will watch this series this school year.)
Lego Technic (We watch for clearance sales and have even found some in garage sales!)
Lego Mindstorms (if I was rich! LOL)

1 comment:

  1. I think Steven would love to start doing the same kind of thing :) What a great way to get hands on experience!


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