"The best toys are the ones you make yourself! Kids learn science, physics, and engineering through a hands-on creative crafts manual."
is a main "mantra" of our friend Bob Windt, a soft spoken, local hero
who lives in the Quad Cities on the banks of the Mississippi River
between Iowa and Illinois
“It ain’t rocket science.” We usually hear that phrase like it's beyond anyone's understanding, but it's not. Rocket science isn't that complicated, and Bob Windt’s got a mission: to inspire kids with science, experiential education, and hands-on learning, and we’re going to help him do that with a book, “Yep, It’s Rocket Science!” We want to bring rocket science down to Earth, so children can understand it while using their minds and their hands.
Kickstarted by a "Kickstarter" crowd funding campaign, our Vision for Bob Windt is to Share his amazing ideas, methods and experiential education model with kids (both young and old) around the world. We are well on our way.
Amazingly we already have great folks showing up from across the USA and the globe to be part of what started as a humble effort to publish Bob's science toys in a hands-on learning manual.On "Our Team" page you can learn about some of these wonderful, generous, creative and enthusiastic people have caught the "Bob Windt bug" - that being to teach kids that learning is hands-on, fun, and exciting.
My friend “Rocket” Bob has an impressive resume: he’s a retired
aeronautical engineer and inventor of a few hovercraft models, founder
of Universal Hovercraft, and developer of innovative products that encourage students to study science, physics, and engineering,
all while having fun. His solution for engaging kids and getting them
away from the screens is simple--use your imagination! And he’s ready to
show the way.
Bob is in high demand during his retirement, scheduled for numerous science demonstrations at schools, festivals, and other events. He gives a science lesson, then provides the materials and encouragement for kids to make their own science toys. The most popular? A paper rocket that can reach heights of 150 feet! Other inventions include balloon boats, Newton cars, space planes, and balloon hovercrafts. And he does it all for free!
Bob wants to reach as many kids as he can with his love of science, and to inspire kids to get crafty and make their own creations. And since he can’t travel to all the schools of the world, the next best thing is to gather all his creations in one book, which CAN be distributed throughout the world.
As Bob’s friends and supporters, he has shared with us his vision, designs, and instructions so we can help him craft a fun, educational, inspirational, and engaging book, and also a portal to reach the entire world. This is where the Kickstarter funding helped tremendously and also became a portal by which some really amazing people discovre: we will compile a lifetime of work into a manual, complete with step-by-step instructions, nifty illustrations, and science facts. If we raise more than planned, we’ll include a video tutorial, with Bob leading the way, as well as more supplies for school projects.
There are currently 28 inventions for the book, using common household items, such as plates, straws, paper, foam, and balloons. Each project will have photos, instructions, and a science lesson behind the science toy. In addition to the descriptions for the toys, the second half of the book will have instructions to assist teachers in integrating the projects and discussions in the classroom.
We are ready to share Bob’s philosophy with children and their parents around the world, and we hope you are inspired to be a part of this dream: “The best toys are the ones you make yourself.”
We are fortunate to have an excellent team of writers and artists for this project. Most of the materials needed for the science toys, such as descriptions and diagrams, have already been created. Our efforts will focus on more artistic and technically accurate diagrams and illustrations.
Sarah Ford, the project coordinator, is a writer and editor. Dr. Andrew Skadberg, the project advisor, was an extension professor specializing in entrepreneurship and business development; and he has published educational guides and books.
Bob offers his programs in classrooms so the curriculum isn't written. We will need to get "generalized" guidelines developed with the assistance of science teachers. This process will require some coordination and research with people outside our working team.
Although we haven't approached a publisher directly, one of our friends is part owner of a experiential education book publishing company - Wood N Barnes. There may be some questions or adjustments to get the book published through this company, but we have made preliminary contact and have received positive feedback.
If Wood N Barnes does not express interest, we have identified a local publishing company that we can work with as well. However, we are confident that Bob's reputation, created through his science programs, his generosity providing all the support to do these programs, and his passion for his work, will assure success of this Kickstarter project. Bob's dream is to share his work around the globe, and we're ready to help him do that!