The Pasta Train
The Summer Challenge: Day 17
For about the past year Shawn has watched a PBS program called The Design Squad. It’s a great show that teaches kids about science and engineering; which is totally up Shawn’s alley. This kid lives, breathes, and sleeps anything involving building, engineering, and inventing stuff. This show (which I do believe is only available online) has been a great (and sometimes annoying – just keeping it real here) source of inspiration for him.
For a couple of days all we heard about was how he wanted to make a “Pasta Car”. A what? I asked him. Finally he showed me the segment where they made a car out of uncooked pasta and hot glue. He begged us for days to let him do this, and we finally caved and bought him some boxes of pasta (plus, we could always eat the extra anyway so it’s not as though it would go to waste.)
The photo above shows the 4 different kinds of pasta that he used. He picked them all out himself and we set out one sunny afternoon to make a car. Shawn told me what to put where, he broke the pieces to fit where he wanted them, and I just glued them in place. As we placed each piece, we decided that turn the car into a train (they are his favorite after all). Overall, it took us a couple of hours to create the entire thing.
One thing to note: Do NOT do the wheels early on. They broke off more times then I can count. It may be harder to glue the axles in place at the end but it will save you time in the long run.
To make the wheels, we used the Lifesaver Mints (it was recommended by the Design Squad) but I think we could have come up with something better. Probably the wagon wheel pasta, but the mints worked just as well. You could really roll the train along too because the wheels did turn.
Shawn asked if he could paint his train, and I couldn’t see why not. It’s not like we were going to eat it or anything. He loves to paint and tends to use every color we have. It’s the most colorful train I have ever seen! 😉
After he was done painting I told him it was very Christmas-y, to which his reply was that it was the Polar Express. lol Since making this a couple weeks ago, it is missing a bunch of wheels because they broke off easily but the rest is still intact.