NH-DI Roundup (July 2020)

Hello everyone!

Here is this month’s issue of NH-DI’s Roundup. We hope it continues to provide you with resources and inspiration! To view previous issues, head here.

Paper and Cardboard: Part 3

Many Destination Imagination teams use recycled cardboard to create props and costumes, and often use utility knives to cut the cardboard. There are much better (and safer) tools available for this, and we’ll talk about some of them in Part 3 of our series on paper and cardboard:

Click here to view Part 1 and here to view Part 2 of the Paper and Cardboard workshop series. Thanks to NH-DI volunteer Craig Richardson for developing this workshop!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it…

Mission 1

Your mission is to explode a watermelon! And yes, this is definitely an outside activity!

What you need:

  • a personal-sized watermelon
  • a big bag of rubber bands

What you do:

  • Wrap many, many rubber bands tightly around your watermelon until…well, until it EXPLODES! Then, you can eat it! Talk about under pressure!

Mission 2

Your mission is to create a boat for a water-phobic frog!

What you need:

  • Shallow basin/kiddie pool/bathtub
  • Water
  • 4 paper plates
  • A 12” sheet of aluminum foil
  • 12” masking tape
  • 8 popsicle sticks/coffee stirrers
  • Craft items to decorate boat
  • A bar of soap/the pretend frog (the real frog refuses to get on your boat until you prove it is sea-worthy!)

What you do:

  • Using the given materials, construct a boat that can support the weight of a bar of soap (the frog). Test your vessel. It must support the soap and stay afloat for a minimum of 30 seconds! Did it pass the test! Might it hold TWO frogs?

Mission 3

Your mission is…actually, we can’t tell you yet!

What you need:

  • 20 random items
  • A Hula Hoop (or 120” of string or yarn)

What you do:

  • Step 1: Collect 20 random items and place them on the floor near the hula hoop (or a big circle made from your string). STOP! Do not read any further until you have completed this step!
  • Step 2: Look carefully at your items and think about a characteristic/commonality that 8 of your items share. Place those 8 items in the circle. Ask an adult or sibling to look at your encircled items and see if they can guess what they have in common! Repeat the sort with 8 different items using another characteristic and again, see if anyone can guess the commonality that you found! You could take turns doing this, too! This activity could be repeated many times!

Mission 4

Write a haiku describing what you are anticipating most about the arrival of summer vacation! A haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that has only 3 lines with very strict syllable counts.


     Lazy summer days (Line 1 = 5 syllables)
     Friends anxious to reconnect (Line 2 = 7 syllables)
     Will it happen? MASKS!!? (Line 3 = 5 syllables)

Now, it’s your turn! Please share your work by emailing it to emily.richardson@nh-di.org or posting on our Facebook or Instagram pages!

Mission 5

Your mission is to build a web to hold a spider’s precious eggs!

What you need:

  • A chair
  • A spool of thread/very thin cord
  • 12” masking tape
  • 6 cotton balls (eggs)

What you do:

  • Make a spider’s web from the back of the chair to the front of the seat using just the materials given. When you are done, toss the 6 cotton balls onto the web. If they stay on the web, the momma spider will thank you with an 8 leg salute! FYI: The scientific name for spider is arachnids and baby spiders are called spiderlings!

Thanks to NH-DI volunteer Jill Schoonmaker for continuing to keep us inspired with these missions!

Some websites we recommend

The Kid Should See This: Smart Videos for Curious Minds of All Ages
The Kid Should See This is a collection of 4,500+ kid-friendly videos, curated for teachers and parents who want to share smarter, more meaningful media in the classroom and at home. And it’s free for everyone! Selections are grown-up-friendly, too. TKSST champions smart STEAM, history, and culture-focused content by museums, organizations, and creators who celebrate curiosity, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, kindness, and other essential themes for all ages. Enjoy around 10 to 15 newly-added videos every week, browse the collections, and search topics in the archives.

OK Go Sandbox
An online resource for educators that uses OK Go’s music videos as starting points for integrated guided inquiry challenges allowing students to explore various STEAM concepts. Developed as a collaboration between OK Go and the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas (led by Dr. AnnMarie Thomas), OK Go Sandbox is about bringing different ideas, disciplines, and people together to explore creativity and learning.

StoryCity is about using the power of imagination to create, explore, and connect. How can everyday materials be transformed into neighborhoods and stories that come together to make one diverse city? Families from all over the world make buildings and invent the stories that happen inside them. When they share those stories with the #StoryCity hashtag or on the submit a story page, the stories come together to create one big mosaic of a shared city born in play. The project was made for families self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic to play together in a shared project. #StoryCity is a project of the LEGO Foundation and the Playful Learning Lab

Museum of Science and Industry Chicago
Science activities that can be completed at home, fueling the goodness of playful creativity. Learn how to identify your fingerprints, build a hot air balloon, design a submarine, and more!!

NOVA Education
NOVA Education tailors NOVA’s digital resources for educators in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Their free educator library is produced according to teaching standards and includes videos, audio segments, lesson plans, and interactives designed to facilitate effective classroom integration.

NOVA Labs is a free digital platform that engages teens and lifelong learners in games and interactives that foster authentic scientific exploration. From predicting solar storms and constructing renewable energy systems to tracking cloud movement and designing RNA molecules, NOVA Labs participants can conduct investigations by visualizing, analyzing, and sharing the same data that scientists use.

Each Lab is unique, and focuses on a different area of active research. But all of them illustrate key concepts with engaging and informative videos and guide participants as they answer scientific questions or design solutions to current problems.

Some STEAM activities to try

Build a Kite
Have you ever tried to build your own kite? Kites have been a source of entertainment for centuries for kids around the world. How do some features of a kite, such as its tail, affect how it flies? In this activity you will have a chance to build your very own kite, a simple sled kite, and use it to investigate how tails help kites fly. How well will your kite fly?

Hula-Hoop Observation
Be a backyard scientist. Use a Hula-Hoop to isolate an area to observe. And if you don’t have a hoop, make one by following the instructions!

Homemade Straw Pan Flutes
Make a homemade pan flute using straws! After building your own pan flutes and exploring the science of sound, you will then have the opportunity to write your own songs and record the notes for those songs on the free printable recording sheet. A fun musical instrument craft and science activity all in one!

Straw Rockets
Here’s an easy way to make straw rockets using just a few materials. This project makes a great addition to a unit on physics, space, the night sky, or things that fly and is also just fun to do on a rainy day!

How to Make a Kaleidoscope

Wood Bending Bracelet Craft: Magic or Science?

Some activities created by DI headquarters

Virtual Instant Challenge: Container It!
Contact one or more friends and challenge them to an unusual race to see who can build the perfect structure to match a variety of containers. Create one tall structure that fits in a variety of containers.

Penny Raft STEAM Activity
How many pennies can your boat hold? For this STEAM activity, kids will build a device out of straws, tin foil and masking tape that can float in water and hold as many pennies as possible without sinking. Kids will learn about buoyancy and the engineering design process with this fun and simple challenge.

Ping Pong Problem Solving STEAM Challenge
Build a structure with a base inside of a taped square to hold a Ping-Pong ball cantilevered as far as possible from the taped square.

Virtual Instant Challenge: Fewer, Not More
Contact one or more friends and challenge them to an unusual scavenger hunt. Set the boundaries for where you will look for the objects on the list: inside the house only, in your yard, or maybe both. Set a time limit for the hunt. The list is long but a fast-paced hunt could be lots more fun. Perhaps 10-15 minutes would be challenging. When time is up, come back together online and score your collection.

Virtual Instant Challenge: Let Me Try That Again
This challenge focuses on self-reflection, empathy and compassion. This activity is intended to be completed in teams of friends and family members. There is no scoring and no time limit.

From our friends at Camp Gottalikachallenge

Instant Floral Arrays with Queen Lou

DIY Planters with Queen Lou

Frisbee 101 with Doug

Hydro Dipping with Ryan

Share what you’ve created!

Were you inspired by any of the activities or resources in NH-DI’s Roundup? What did you build or create? We encourage you, with a parent or guardian’s help and permission, to share your creations on our Facebook or Instagram pages! (Just add your photo as a comment on our weekly post!)

And please share NH-DI’s Roundup with your friends! Ask them to sign up for weekly emails (if they’re 13 or older), or send them a link to our main NH-DI Roundup page.

That’s all for this issue, but we look forward to sending you more soon! And as always, if you have ideas for NH-DI’s Roundup, email Emily Richardson at emily.richardson@nh-di.org.

Published by New Hampshire Innovation and Creativity Connection (NHICC), the nonprofit organization that operates New Hampshire’s Destination Imagination, Camp Gottalikachallenge, and Girls Engineering the Future programs. Learn more about us…