I've been building this labyrinth with my grade 6 woodwork kids for the last 4 years with great success. What i needed was a project the kids could build that would include creative design, measuring, using a scroll saw and a drill press. I stumbled on the traditional labyrinth that we all used when we were kids... remember the one that was in a box with 2 knobs that were really hard to use? :-) The kids also had i-phone versions they played and i thought "why not one that's REAL?"
When kids in grade 6 walk into the woodshop for the first time they have already heard about the project from their siblings and are SO excited to get started.
So here are my learning objectives:
-The students will learn to creatively solve a problem within a set of guidelines.
-The students will learn to measure, apply the measurements and create a cutlist
-The students will learn to safely use a drill press and a scroll saw.
-The students will learn to effectively learn to glue.
-1/4" square graph paper.
-3/8" MDF 8.5" by 11"
-1/4" wood strips 3/4" by about 3' per student
-7/16" steel ball bearing. (per student) You can get these from electric motor rebuild places or just look under bearings in the 'pages.
-12" Forstner bit
-Sanding board. (or just plain 120G paper sheets)
Submitted by HD Stafford Middle School for the Instructables Sponsorship Program
Step 1: Starting the Design
I start by asking the kids what a labyrinth is. I usually end up reminding them about the garden maze or talking about the one that we've all seen with the 2 knobs.
I goto the board and start drawing a big rectangle than ask for where a start and finish should be. Than i ask the kids to describe paths from start to finish... the catch is the line can't touch or cross. Often i'll get kids to come up and draw paths as well. Eventually i guide them to a design thats interesting but not too twisty. They all say "thats TOO EASY!!" so i ask them to make it tricky by adding holes... They quickly figure out that holes placed in the right spots.... at the end of long runs or on the outside of a curve or in a way that makes the ball have to curve back and forth... make it tricky. Than i ask HOW we're going to make sure the ball follows the path... The kids figure out that walls will control the ball.
I set them all up with pages and say that i want 4 different paths with walls and holes all quick sketched in 20 minutes. They freak out and ask for more time. I say "NO WAY!" and yell GO!!! They love that its kind of a race...
This gets their brains going.
At the end of the 20 minutes (or whatever they need... i fudge it...) i say to stop and give them rules... i write them on the board...
Choose 1 and use the graph paper to draw it.
-All up/down and left /right. No angles. (tough to build)
-The ball takes up a space of 4 squares. So do the holes. This means that they must allow space for the ball to roll around the holes.
-The walls take up 1 square wide. The kids have to allow room for the walls.
-You have to allow at least 3 squares wide in between walls.
I than get the kids to start a rough but accurate drawing of the path.
They than add the walls roughly. check out the pictures...