Support for PBS Parents provided by:


  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Peg + Cat
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • Martha Speaks
  • The Electric Company
  • WordGirl
  • Thomas & Friends
  • Cyberchase
  • Arthur
  • Sesame Street
  • Between the Lions
  • Mama Mirabelle
  • Caillou
  • Chuck Vanderchuck
  • Oh Noah
  • Fetch!
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Mister Rogers
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • SciGirls
  • Wilson & Ditch
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM
Cyberchase

Build a Better Bunny Copter

Build a twirling bunny copter using science and engineering skills.

Materials

Goal: To recognize the value of refining and optimizing an existing invention to improve its performance.

Time: 30 minutes to an hour

Space: Table top (for assembly); open space (for flight testing)

Preparation time: about 30 minutes

Before starting, set up a work space with supplies that include:

  • Bunny Copter strips, enough for your child to make 5 Bunny Copters.
  • “Build a Better Bunny Copter” handout.
  • Scissors, paper clips and colored markers or crayons.
  • For Flight Testing: Set aside an area of the room where your child can stand and drop her copters.
  • Optional: Print additional Bunny Copter strips on heavier paper stock for your child to experiment with.
  • Optional: Preview the episode or clip.
  • If using the episode with your child, cue up the Cyberchase video player.

Directions

1. Give your child the “Build a Better Bunny Copter” handout and Bunny Copter strips. Explain that Delete invented a Bunny Copter, but he wants to make it stay in the air longer and twirl faster. To help Delete, invite your child to make changes to his Bunny Copter to make it twirl faster.

2. Ask your child to follow the directions on her handout to get started. Once she’s made her Bunny Copters, she can test them in the flight test area. Remind her to hold the copters up as high as she can.

Tip: Set some safety rules for dropping the copters. For example, your child should not stand on chairs or other furniture when dropping the copters.

3. As your child works, ask questions or make comments to keep her on track. Ask: What changes can you make to your Bunny Copter to make it stay in the air longer? What makes it spin faster? How does your Bunny Copter fly when you add more or different-size passengers (paper clips)?

4. Optional: Provide your child with Bunny Copter strips made from heavier-stock paper. Ask: What effect do you think the heavier paper will have on the Bunny Copter’s flight? Are there other changes you would want to make to your Bunny Copter using the heavier paper?

5.To close, invite your child to share her results. Ask: Which ear length made the Bunny Copter fly the best? Which length helped it stay in the air longer? What happened when passengers were added?


Take It Further

Share this activity’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) connections and invite your child’s comments:

Inventors are always looking for ways to make something work better. This part of the inventing process is called refining and optimizing. Working with existing inventions, inventors make changes and then test them to see whether the changes have improved overall performance.

Talk About It

Ask your child if she’s ever wanted to make a change to something to make it work differently or make it work better. Explain that inventors do this, too. First they identify how they want the invention to perform differently. Then they think about how they could change it to improve its performance. Finally, they make changes and test each change until they get the results they want. This part of the invention process is called refining and optimizing.

Explain to your child that the Bunny Copters used in the episode are cybercopters that work only in cyberspace. Therefore, kids should not try to design their copters or expect them to perform the same way.

Ask: What did you learn about inventing from this activity that you didn’t know before?


You May Also Like

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
WNET logo   National Science Foundation logo Northrop Grumman logo Ernst & Young logo Corporation for Public Broadcasting logo
Additional funding provided by the Volckhausen Family

What's this?

PBS Parents Picks

  1. Talking to Kids About Disability image

    Talking to Kids About Disability

    A mother shares what she's learned about people with physical and intellectual challenges.


  2. Pinwheel Playtime image

    Pinwheel Playtime

    Create a colorful pinwheel with your child to explore the effects of wind.


  3. Smart Sportsmanship image

    Smart Sportsmanship

    True champions are masters of both skill and sportsmanship. Whether or not your child is a star athlete, being a good sport is the gold standard!


PBS Parents Newsletter

Find activities, parenting tips, games from your child's favorite PBS KIDS programs and more.

×