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January Cub Scout Roundtable Issue
Volume 7, Issue 6

Passports to Other Lands
Webelos Scholar & Engineer
Tiger Big Ideas 10 & 11


Heart of America Council


Almost every boy, not to mention most adults, can find an interesting area of engineering.  An engineer applies the laws of physics and chemistry to solve the problems of construction, industry, and other areas.  The scientists who build machines are called engineers.  They do tests and experiments that help them to invent new machines or improve old ones.

Den Activities

Visit a construction site.
Have an engineer or surveyor visit your den meeting.
Demonstrate the basic principles of leverage by using a teeter-totter or a plank with a fulcrum made of bricks or blocks.
Draw a sketch of a bridge to build.


Do-it Yourself Flashlight

This flashlight can be assembled easily and provide a fun project for the boys.  And better yet, it actually works!


Flashlight battery
Plastic pill bottle with a flexible lid
Insulated wire

1. The pill bottle should be large enough for the battery and bulb base to fit inside it.  The wire should be the kind that can be bent easily.  Scrape the insulation from one end of your wire and form it into a flat coil.

2. Attach the coil to the bottom of the battery with adhesive tape.

3. Cut an opening in the center of the pill bottle lid, so that the base of the bulb will fit.  Push base of bulb through hole in lid.

4. Scrape the other end of the wire and wind it around the base of the bulb.  Secure in place with some tape.

5. Crumple small pieces of paper.  Place enough of this in the bottom of bottle so that when battery is inserted and the lid is tightly in place, the bottom of the bulb will just make contact with the raised center top of the battery.

6. Hinge one side of the lid to the bottle with tape.

7. When lid is closed, the bulb will light.  To shut off your flashlight, flip the lid up.  This light creates a dim glow.  If you want a larger light, use two batteries in a larger container.


The Ringer

The Ringer is a successful flying machine even though it is without wings, a tail or stabilizer.  Construct and test this unique flying structure.


1 straw
1 sheet of paper
Transparent tape

1. Cut two paper strips: 5 in x 1/2 in and 7 in x 3/4 in.

2. Tape the ends of the paper to form two loops.

3. Tape the loops to the ends of the straw.

4. Conduct test flights of the aircraft.

5. Make a variety of alterations to the aircraft, such as changing the size of the loop, the length of the straw, etc.

6. Record the length of flight, direction of flight, etc. for each design variation.

7. Determine the best design for accurate, long distance flight.


Build A Rocket Engine From A Chicken Egg

This engine works by the same principle as the engines of future starships.  Its jet of steam allows it to propel a simple boat.


        An uncracked raw chickenís egg

        A fine knitting needle

        A basin

        All purpose glue

        A metal foil food container (such as TV dinners come in)


        A paper clip

        A few inches of stiff wire

        A candle

Wash the outside of the egg and pierce a tiny hole through it from end to end, using the knitting needle.  Hold the egg over a basin and blow through one of the holes.  The yolk and white of the egg will come out of the hole at the other end of the shell and fall into the basin.  Hold the eggshell under water and remove it when it is about half full.  Put your fingers over the holes and shake it to clean the inside.  Blow out the contents, then rinse the eggshell again in the same way.  Now dry the outside of the shell and seal one of the holes with a blob of thick glue, leave the glue to set.  Make the boat from the metal food container.  Trim the sides with scissors and bend one end to form the boatís curved bow.  Clip a small flap of scrap foil to the stern of the boat to act as a rudder.  Bend the piece of wire to form a cradle for the eggshell. Cut a small piece from the top of the candle.  Hold the shell under water so that a little water enters.  Do not let too much in as it will take a long time to boil.  Using hand hot water will speed things up.  Arrange the candle stump, wire frame, and shell as shown and light the candle with an adultís help.  After a few minutes the boat will move forward, driven by the thrust of the eggshell rocket.



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