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Large boy received a projector creation kit for his birthday, it’s a Science Museum kit and you can get it on Amazon: Create a Night Sky.
He’s in the process of going from Beavers to Cubs and they’ve been doing lots about planets and stars over the last few weeks. With Storm Ciara blowing around outside, we decided to have a crafty session after lunch today. The kits says 8+ so I said I’d help.
The first step is to puncture approximately 3 million holes through the cardboard shell, using the packing box to lean on. The instructions recommended a sharp pencil or a nail. I don’t think we have any 4H pencils and didn’t fancy sharpening every 2 minutes, also a nail seemed a really fiddly tool. Instead I raided himself’s toolbag for his mini screwdrivers – really tiny ones for working on scalextric cars – and these worked well. Large boy took one hemisphere and, after realising how many he needed to do, I took the other. An hour later we were done, both with blisters on our forefingers.
Then we needed to fit each hemisphere into a, well, half sphere shape. This wasn’t too tricky, the cuts and tabs were prepared in the kit and you just had to slot each tab into the hole next to it. Then the north pole cap bit had to go into the hole left for it (as large boy wanted the northern hemisphere at the top), this was trickier. Eventually, I took over, the tabs were all numbered to make sure the stars lined up properly. We taped all the seams up so nothing would pop out.
Lastly the two hemispheres needed slotting together and here it was very intricate and fiddly. I don’t think large boy would have been able to do it. Each time I popped one tab into its hole (again, well labelled) another would pop out. Luckily, I have small hands so I was able to put one hand through the southern pole and stick the tabs down with tape as I went. It took at least 10 minutes to get this bit done.
While I struggled on, large boy got a lesson in sorting batteries. He unscrewed the cover and inserted four AA batteries the right way round, screwed the cover back on. Then he built the supports for the light stand.
Finally, we had the sphere constructed, hole in the south to sit over light. Up to his bedroom with curtains closed and lights off to test it.
Brilliant! Hard work and blisters, maybe too fiddly for an 8 year old, but satisfying and effective when complete. There are joins between the hemispheres where light is escaping, as you can see in the photo, but I don’t think we could get it to fit any better without swearing. All the constellations are labelled and large boy must have been listening because he knew all sorts of things about them and how to pronounce some of the strange spellings.
Large boys scores this 4/5, hard but looks really good. He can’t wait to take it to Cubs.