Hands-on Science at Home

Benjie Spinners

Our final project is a fun DIY toy that was created by one of our teachers, Benjie! It’s a cross between a fidget spinner and a top, with the added bonus of demonstrating a cool optical illusion! 

Supplies:

-popsicle sticks
-smoothie straws
-tape
-toothpicks
-markers

Begin with four popsicle sticks and some markers. You can draw any pattern on your popsicle sticks, but since this will spin like a top, think about patterns and colors that will show up clearly while in motion.

After decorating, cut the smoothie straw into two 1.5” pieces. The ends of your popsicle sticks should be fitted into the pieces of straws, leaving a small amount of space in between the ends of the sticks:

Spinner 5

Using a toothpick, poke a hole in the space between the two popsicle sticks. Then brace the joint created by the straw with a toothpick, taping it down securely:

Spinner 6  Spinner 7

Once braced, assemble your spinner! Make sure the pieces are at even 90 degree angles, then secure with more tape so the spinner will hold that position. 

Spinner 8  Spinner 10

Find a smooth surface and spin! Does your pattern show up as it spins? What other patterns can you draw that will create optical illusions?

Spinner 12  Spinner gif

For hands-on science at home ideas and info on upcoming activities

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Amy Torf, Founder

Amy Torf Here you’ll find some of my favorite experiments and activities you can do at home!

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