National Engineers Week celebrates the awesome feats of engineers everywhere. Engineering is the branch of science and technology that deals with the design, construction, and use of engines, machines, and structures. On a deeper level, engineering thinking is a creative method of problem-solving in which you figure out the ways things relate to each other to understand and build more complex systems.
Here at KiwiCo, engineering skills play into every aspect of our business; from designing projects and sourcing materials to upgrading our website, fulfilling orders, and shipping our boxes to YOU! It is no surprise then, that many of our team members studied engineering (including our founder!) but more importantly engineering skills are used every day by people who come from a range of disciplines.
The great thing about engineering is that you develop a toolbox of skills that can help you approach most any problem across any discipline. At KiwiCo, every week is Engineers Week! Here is how our team uses these skills every day:
Started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers,National Engineers Week is celebrated every President’s Day in honor of President George Washington’s birthday. Did you know that in addition to being the first president of the United States, George Washington was considered to be one of the nation’s first engineers? As a kid, George loved to build things. Later, he famously designed his own house and the tools to maintain it (including a huge plow!)
From the houses we live in to the bridges we cross, engineering touches every aspect of modern life. Specifically, engineering is the branch of science and technology that deals with the design, construction, and use of engines, machines, and structures! Engineering skills are essential for all aspects of building. This week, engineers and educators will honor the people who create wonders in the fields of engineering. And there is so much to celebrate!
When we speak about hearts, we often think about love! But scientifically, the heart is a complex organ that pumps blood throughout our bodies supplying oxygen and nutrients to all of our organs and tissues. The heart is essential to the existence of most animals on the planet. How much do you know about your heart? Here are five awesome heartful facts:
5 Simple Tips for Creating Meaningful Messages for Friends and Family
Recently, I found a beautiful Valentine’s Day card created by my daughter when she was five years old. In it, she wrote a story about strawberries (my favorite fruit) with illustrations of heart-shaped berries scrawled in crayon. Seeing that card filled me with tenderness and made me laugh out loud.
Creating cards with kids can be a meaningful way to spend time together. In addition to the joy that comes with crafting, the process of writing to a friend or family member encourages kids to have empathy and consideration for others.
But sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we wrote up these five simple tips for creating awesome Valentine’s Day cards with your kids:
Cardboard is an awesome building material that is recyclable and biodegradable. It’s durable and protective, but it is also easy to bend and cut. It’s about half air, making it a useful lightweight material for building projects. As kids (and cats!) know, sometimes a cardboard box is as fun as the toy that came in it! Ever since it was invented, cardboard has inspired construction and creativity!
At a time when many toys are becoming complex and reliant on technology, it’s reassuring to return to creative possibilities of the box, seeing it not as trash but as an opportunity for artistic play. Here at KiwiCo, we have deep respect for the value and versatility of cardboard. In addition to being committed to recycling and sustainability, we are always looking for awesome uses for our crates.
From extra storage containers to crafty DIY activities, the ideas are endless. Here are four easy cardboard projects to make with your kids.
Valentine’s Day is a love-ly holiday for making heartfelt gifts! All over the world, people send candy, flowers, and cards to express affection and appreciation. At KiwiCo, we encourage kids to make their own awesome projects to share with family and friends! From magnetic hearts to light-up pencils, here are five STEM craft activities to make with your kids!
Need some help making handmade Valentines for classmates? That’s why we created our Valentine’s Day Card kit that comes complete with everything you need to make 27 craftastic cards.
Science can explain many of the world’s magical mysteries in surprisingly simple ways. These easy science experiments reveal the cause behind some phenomena, but also let kids explore the frontiers of science. With these quick projects, they’ll use chemistry, electricity, and biology, to feed their creativity and make scientific magic!
Lunar New Year has been observed in China for more than four thousand years, starting from ancient celebrations of the end of the long winter season. Because it marks the earth coming back to life and the beginning of the growing cycle, the Lunar New Year is also called the Spring Festival.
Although modern-day China uses the solar Gregorian calendar, the traditional Chinese calendar follows both the sun AND the moon. Every lunar year begins with the moon cycle that starts between January and February and ends on the full moon 15 days later. So the Lunar New Year in China falls on different dates on the Gregorian calendar, somewhere between January 21 and February 20.
Kid Inventors’ day is on January 17th, the birthday of Benjamin Franklin! You might already know that Benjamin Franklin was a founding father of the United States and that he was famous for his experiments with electricity (most notably the kite experiment) What you might not know is that he is also credited with inventing the first swim flippers almost 300 years ago at age 12! Kid Inventors’ Day was created to acknowledge past and present accomplishments of kid inventors; To encourage the creativity of future young creators. This year, to celebrate National Kid Inventors’ Day, we want to feature some awesome young innovators around the world.
A trebuchet is a type of catapult that uses a swinging arm to throw a projectile. They were created for a terrible purpose, but they’re also an amazing example of human ingenuity. For centuries, the trebuchet was the most powerful war machine in the world. They stood as tall as 60 feet (18m) and could fling 80 pound (36kg) objects up to 980 feet (300m). They were so powerful as siege engines that they even changed the way that castles were built, with walls becoming increasingly thicker to protect against trebuchet barrages.
After the invention of the first trebuchet in China during the fourth century B.C.E, the concept spread quickly and was further developed by engineers in the Middle East and Europe. Innovators across three continents and many different cultures contributed to their design, displaying incredible mechanical skill and scientific vigor.
But how do trebuchets work? How did they manage to be so powerful, lift so much weight, and make such a large impact on the world around them? What can we learn from the trebuchet designs of the past?