We spent a little time on the internet. I had the kids think of things they would like to learn more about - Ellie went the music route (no surprise) and Will went the explosion route (no surprise).
Ellie is always one to think big and this year, she really want to make this.
You know, I may have my moments of feeling like supermom, but they never lead me to think this big. But she really liked this idea, so we watched a few more youtube videos and found this.
I figured this would be a little more manageable, on a smaller scale of course, and we decided to help her make a PVC piano.
We measured out the PVC pipes and let her hear how to match the pitch to a note on the piano, discussing shortening to make the pitch higher. We added a coupling when tuning. The coupling made just the top of the pipe a little wider, allowing us to have a way to make the pipes hang and the pitch resonate through.
Then, when we had the pitches right, she wrote the names of the notes on each of the couplings.
Enoch built a stand and drilled holes to fit the pipes and we put together the basic melodies of some well known tunes. We wanted the kids to be able to play this as they came through the fair and bought a new plastic spatula just for this. We had the necessary Twinkle, Twinkle, You are my Sunshine, and the immortal Smoke on the Water.
Ellie won the science project in her grade and it sits proudly by our piano at home, occasionally being featured as part of a PVC piano and piano duet of Smoke on the Water.