What you’ll learn:
Engineering and design principles.
Tinkering, modifying, and editing a design can help the final piece function better.
Valentine’s science experiments are a fun way to bring play into the holiday. This is a fun Valentine’s day kids project that can easily be packed up into small snack bags as a very cool Valentine’s day card/craft to give to friends and classmates. Best of all, the supplies you need can all be found at the dollar store, so you could make a classroom set of these Cupid’s bow and arrow engineering projects for just a few dollars. In fact, it could likely be cheaper than buying the cards and candies, and far more fun.
- Craft sticks
- Rubber bands (I like the mixed sizes bags which allows for more experimentation)
- Cotton swaps
- Snack sized baggies or decorative baggies (if you want to make this for your class Valentine’s card)
How to make a Cupid’s Bow and Arrow
There isn’t really a right or wrong way to make your Cupid’s bow and arrow. That is what makes this valentine science experiment so much fun. You have a set type of supplies, and you have to puzzle out how to make it work.
At first, it might seem easy, I mean, of course, you need rubber bands, right? But once you start building you will think you need tape, glue, cardboard, and more. What makes this project an engineering challenge is forcing yourself to work within the boundaries of supplies you have. I urge you to stick within those boundaries, as simply adding more to the table takes a lot of the learning out of the process.
1. Gather your supplies.
You don’t need much, but it is always nice to put your supplies on a nice clean table. It helps set your mind up to be free to think!
2. Learn how to use rubber bands as connectors
Rubber bands will likely be what launches your Q-tip, but it is also what will be the lynchpin of how you connect pieces together. Learning how to twist and pull through to loop rubber bands is a time old tradition for people with long hair, but for others, and especially younger kids, it can be a skill which requires learning.
Taking the time to learn this technique early on in the project will help ease frustration and anger later, so it is definitely worth the extra time.
3. Build, test, repeat!
Once you have your supplies and the basics of using rubber bands as connectors it is time to dive into this Valentine science experiment! A big part of the engineering and design process is the test and repeat part. It likely won’t shoot the way you want it to initially, which means you will need to rebuild and retest. This process doesn’t have a defined end. It is done once you think it works well enough and you are happy with it.
You can also set up a target to shoot at and bring in the idea of sights, repeatability, and extra design requirements, into the project.