3 Rs




Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Videos about Taylor's Pneumatic Toys

I took a workshop from Rich Helms, a 30 year seasoned software developer (http://richhelms.com/rich/), on "How To Make a Book Trailer." It was 6 hours well spent. I decided to make a series of trailers highlighting each of the 9 toys in my book, Taylor's Pneumatic Toys. Another toy in my book is a Front End Loader. In the video, my grandson Jake, now 15 years of age, is sitting in a front end loader on our property. He made the wooden front end loader (later frame) toy when he was 8. See the video on YouTube: Printer Friendly Taylor’s Pneumatic Toys – Stan Taylor By RichHelms | December 1, 2013 0 Comment Brakes are 1 of 9 ‘TOYS’ in Taylor’s Pneumatic Toys children from 8-18 can build using pneumatic (air) power. http://youtu.be/VjrPzKepQh8 0:22 Front End Loader http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXgg69xUnoI 0:40

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I took a workshop from Rich Helms, a 30 year seasoned software developer (http://richhelms.com/rich/), on "How To Make a Book Trailer." It was 6 hours well spent. I decided to make a series of trailers highlighting each of the 9 toys in my book, Taylor's Pneumatic Toys. The following is my first video that you can see on YouTube:

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 5k Walk

On October 20, 2013, I will be participating in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 5k Walk while raising funds for Scientists in School. Scientists in School is Canada's largest science charity for kids. We reached 600,000 youth last year through our hands-on, discovery-based workshops. Scientists in School gets kids excited about science from Kindergarten to Grade 8. I believe ALL children should have the opportunity to experience Scientists in School workshops and to learn that science is fun. I am in my thirteenth year with Scientists in School and I am still having as much fun as when I first started. The excitement on a child’s face when something new is realized is most rewarding. Support Scientists in School by sponsoring me. Please go to http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?registrationID=2142783&langPref=en-CA if you chose to sponsor me. THANK you!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Port Hope Fall Fair

The port Hope Fall Fair was a blast as usual. My grandson Nick and I arrived at 8:20 am at the Town Park Recreation Center in Port Hope. I found the Cameco tent where we were to set up. Cameco personnel guided us to our Scientists in School (SiS) area and Nick and I began to set up. Cameco joined Scientists in School about three years ago as one of our sponsors. We were grateful to Cameco for providing such a large tent, for the tables to be set up, and to be out of the 6 degrees celcius weather. Afterall, it is only September 14th and it is still Summer.

Nick and I continued to set up as Angela Maclean, another SiS presenter arrived. Angela had a couple of neat hands-on activities related to solar power. Both Angela and I were ready to go for the 9:00 am opening. Sarah Carnegie, a Team Leader with SiS joined us.

Traffic was slow until about 10:20 am. Nick and I were teaching children to build alloon powered hovercrafts using an old cd, a wooden spool, duct tape and a 12" party balloon. It is the easiest thing in the world to make. When all of the pieces are attached, you blow through the hole at the bottom of the cd. The air goes throgh the hole in the spool and inflates the balloon. When the balloon is large enough and pinching the neck of the balloon so air doesn't escape, you place your newly constructed hovercraft on a flat surface, give it a little push and watch it cruise across the table. It's floating on a cusion of air provided by the balloon as the balloon deflates. The hovercrafts function can be described by Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law: "For every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction." Air goes down, action, cd goes up, reaction. The balloons forward mo

vement is based upon Newton's First Law. "every object remains at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force." By giving the balloon a slight push (external force) the balloon at rest begins to move. Grade 6 students who study flight understand Newton's First and Third laws.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Taylor's Pneumatic Toys Book Review #4

A review of " Taylor's Pneumatic Toys " by Stanley R. Taylor


Mr Taylor has produced an interesting, well-illustrated, book which describes nine simplified models of miniature, pneumatic robotic items. Their parts can be ( and have been ) assembled by elementary school students.

These items are made to move 'back and forth' by means of pneumatic 'medical' syringes which can be connected by plastic tubing to attachment points on those items. The air pressure in the tubing, on each side of a 'primary' piston, responds to the motion of the syringe and a 'secondary' piston then moves accordingly.

One of the models ( he is bold enough to call it a miniature 'Canadarm' ) is driven by a total of four 10 mL medical syringes. It has a simple, but functioning Elbow Joint and can simulate some of the motions of the Lower Arm of the Canadarm including the ability to capture objects.

This model includes a simple End Effector with a grappling system derived from that of the full-scale Canadarm. It is able to bend down and capture an object and then lift it, if it is fitted with a simulated Grapple Fixture. It can also then release it. To demonstrate this, the drawings include a 'mass', fitted with a popsicle stick. The popsicle stick serves as the Grapple Fixture !

These are indeed 'educational' toys but they are also entertaining and thus will trigger many variations by the students themselves. ( Well done Stan ! )

Bruce Aikenhead,
Aeronautical Engineer,
Designer of Canadarm

Friday, June 21, 2013

Randy Attwood is an avid amateur astronomer. Randy was part of our Scientists in School team presenting "Celestial Sleuths" (space) to Grade 6 students. I am just finishing my 12th Year with Scientists in School and did my last "Celestial Sleuths" presentation yesterday for this academic school year. Randy is no longer with Scientists in School. He is now Managing Editor of SPACE Quarterly, Senior Editor, SpaceRef, and Past President RASC.

Randy was kind enough to write a review of my book, Taylor's Pneumatic Toys. You can find it at http://spaceref.ca/education/new-book-inspires-young-people-to-build-scientific-toys.html

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Review 2 Taylor's Pneumatic Toys

Taylor's Pneumatic Toys (Paperback) Review by David Anderson, Ph.D., (Driggs, ID, US)

The title says it: How to Build Toys out of Wood with your Children. We live in a time when projects for children are often too" prepackaged", and often do not lend themselves to an honest collaboration between parents and their children. This book gives wonderful and creative projects that are unique and easy to do. Because they are made to move with simple pneumatics, they lend themselves to the creative process of thinking what else can be done with this technique. In that way, the book is as much a start as an end. I highly recommend this book to any parent that would like to spend some quality and creative time with their child.

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Creative, May 14, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Review of Taylor's Pneumatic Toys

Taylor’s Pneumatic Toys

by Stanley R. Taylor



Stan Taylor has written a delightful little book that ought to be a standard classroom reference for every middle school Design & Tech. teacher. Taylor outlines eight pneumatics projects of escalating degrees of difficulty that can be built out of wood, plastic syringes, and everyday materials such as string, foam cups, shoeboxes, and even McDonald’s fries containers. The only power tools that appear to be required are a drill and a jigsaw. Each project comes complete with a full parts list, stepby-step instructions, large labelled schematic diagrams, and black-and-white photos showing relevant details and the finished product. The binder-sized format of the book allows the diagrams and photos to be large enough that the details are visible. Each project is prefaced by a brief story that tells how the project idea arose and in some cases how sub-problems within that project were creatively solved. These stories invariably have a personal bent that makes the book endearing.

Taylor has given many workshops on the building of pneumatic toys. In February of this year he delivered a workshop on the construction of his Canadarm replica at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. He says, “Children and adults alike have learned through my workshops how to make many of the toys in this book. The sparkle in the eye of a child and the broad smile of an educator when they have made the toy and when they see it working is most gratifying.

Review by Tim Langford, newsletter editor

©2005 Matt Chan. Creative Commons license.

OAPT Newsletter: Spring 2013

Reprinted with permission.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ontario Volunteer Service Award

Racquel Carlow, President of the Science Teachers Association of Ontario (STAO) sent me an email a few months ago to inform me that she had nominated me to receive an Ontario Volunteer Service Award. I was flattered by the gesture and I thanked her for the thought.

On April 16th, I received in the mail an invitation to attend the 2013 Volunteer Service Awards on April 22nd at Deer Creek Golf Club. I cried. I was humbled and grateful that an organization thought enough about me to nominate me for a service award. STAO nominated me for my 15 years of service.

I was only allowed to bring one guest and I brought my wife, Karen.

I was one of 255 recipients to receive an award at the ceremony. Awards ranged from 5 years to 60 years of service. Some of the organizations were local community groups, Girl Guides of Canada, various Groups of Scouts Canada, skating clubs, horticultural societies, youth centres and health centres just to name a few.

MPP John O’Toole for Durham was in attendance along with dignitaries from various branches of the government.

It was a wonderful evening that I will treasure and reflect upon as I continue to serve.

[NOTE: I purposely blocked out the signature of the Honourable John O'Toole.]

Sunday, April 7, 2013

SEEC Part 4

I arose at 6:00 am on the morning of February 9, 2013, and went through my usual morning ceremonies to prepare myself for another day. I would be giving my workshop this morning and I was excited. I went downstairs for the complimentary breakfast enjoying scrambled eggs, sausage, and freshly baked buns which I adorned with lots of strawberry jam. The TV was on in the lobby and I heard more news of the snowstorm that hit the Eastern Seaboard up to and including Toronto.

When I finished breakfast, I got on the internet to learn that my flight back to Toronto had been cancelled. I asked Steve, the hotel manager if I could stay another night if I had to and he said that he was booked solid. He said me would try the Marriott near the airport and let me know. I asked Steve if I could check out at 1:00 pm instead of the required 11:00 am since I had to give a workshop at the Space Center and wouldn’t be back in time to check out by 11:00. He said that would be okay.

I grabbed the shuttle and headed for the Space Center. When I arrived, I had an hour to kill so I thought I would take in any part of the building I hadn’t seen. I saw a sign that said “Stage Bypass.” I followed it and was I ever surprised. There was about a ¼ length replica of the ISS and I was inside it. There were dials and panels on the walls and it looked very impressive indeed. I stepped out of the ISS replica and entered another room that was dimly lit. Behind a glass panel was a moonscape with a rover sitting upon it. This was so cool. I realized I had 15 minutes to get my gear and head for my room. I picked up my kit that I mailed a couple of weeks earlier, loaded three boxes onto a dolly and headed to the auditorium to do my presentation.

I set up my computer and began unpacking my boxes when this young woman asked if I needed any help. Her name is Becky Russel l Loy. She finished setting up my computer for me, got a tech aide to connect the speakers and I put items into baskets which Becky and I distributed to the tables where educators were seated. I showed my video prepared for me by Steve Lang of the Canadian Space Resource Center, which showed the first Canadarm to Canadarm 2 assisting in the docking of Space X. Following the video, I introduced myself and began my workshop. I had an hour and a half and wondered how I’d fill the time. When I finished my workshop, I had only 5 minutes left to give out my door prizes Which I share at all my presentations. Just about everybody went home with something. I thought the workshop went very well.

Following the workshop, I ran into my friend Jeff. I told him I had to get to my hotel to check out and see about a place to stay. I thanked Angela, who organized the conference, then Jeff and I split a cab and I returned to my hotel. I checked out and Steve told me that he had a room for me at the gain. I told Steve about this. He told me not to cancel my room at the airport Marriott until I was boarding the plane. I thanked Steve for all his help and his excellent service. The shuttle arrived and I was off.
Marriott by the airport if I needed it. I had about an hour before the shuttle was to pick me up for the airport. I got online and discovered my flight was back on a

I’m definitely going back next year. There is still so much more to see.

Thank you Johnson Space Center, Angela Case, Brian Ewenson and my new friend Jeff for a wonderful learning experience. I had a blast.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Seec Coninued, Part 3

Following the final workshop of the day, I had an opportunity to shop for t-shirts to take home for my three grandchildren. I am truly blessed. My three grandchildren live with my wife and me along with their parents. It’s a great arrangement.

I took the shuttle back to my hotel and rested a bit, took a shower, had a shave, beautified myself (ha,ha) put on my blue blazer and grey pants with suspenders and headed back to the Space Center for a banquet and dance. Jeff and I sat at a table with two educators and three young NASA engineers. These guys were great. I shared that I was once an electronics engineer, but left because the industry kept changing so rapidly that I couldn’t keep up.

I envied these three young engineers. They had their whole lives in front of them. I remember sitting in my electronics class at a college in Detroit, Michigan when a guy came in from a company from Palo Alto, California and hired the whole class except the three of us who were Canadians. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know about green cards, pursuing the American dream, obtaining employment at a leading American Company. Yes, I was a bit jealous of these three young men, but my choices led me to where I was finally at NASA. I often dreamed about going to NASA as a teenager, but my parents didn’t have the knowledge to take me to where the action was. No matter. A few decades later and I finally made it. I was at NASA, a scientist’s nirvana.

Brian Ewenson had a Canadian table just to the right of the dance floor. It was decorated with Canadian memorabilia. He had red lobsters (candy ones I think), Smarties (you can only buy Smarties in Canada) and many Canadian flags. This was a table where you met real Canadians and adopted Canadians. The adopted ones were Americans or other nationalities that just wanted to hang out at the Canadian table. What a hoot.

The food was fantastic, the Max Q Band loud, the dancers in beat, and the camaraderie fantastic. Brian and the Canadian contingent went to another bar when the dance concluded and I went back to my hotel. I wanted to insure that I was well rested for my workshop tomorrow morning.

To be continued….

Sunday, March 10, 2013

SEEC continued…

On Friday, Feb 8th, I arose and made coffee in my room. Once I bathed and shaved, I headed down to the lobby for the complimentary breakfast. I cooked a couple of waffles, grabbed some scrambled eggs and sausage, two freshly baked and warm rolls with butter and strawberry jam. I momentarily reflected back to my high school years. Breakfast was a hot cup of tea and maybe a slice of toast since both my parents left for work before I took the bus for school. And now I was eating like a king. Life is good.

The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Satoshi Furukawa, a JAXA (Japanese Space Agency) astronaut. On June 7th, 2011, he launched on a Soyuz TMA-21 to the ISS where he spent 5 months as a crew member of Expedition 29. He explained his duties, experiments and experiences in fluent English.

I was off to my first session of the day, “Living and Working Together on the ISS” with Brian Ewenson. Brian just got started on his talk when a NASA employee handed him a cell phone. On the other end was Chris Hadfield calling from the ISS. How cool is that? He and Brian talked for about a minute and we all made sure to say “Goodbye Chris” to briefly mark our little place in this historic event. Brian is Canadian and now lives in Texas (see http://www.brianewenson.com/ for an explanation of what inspired him to seek a career in aerospace). He states: “I’ve known Chris for the past twenty years.” And he admitted that he got goose bumps just talking with Chris. It wasn’t until later that I learned that he had trained Chris for his first trip to the MIR.

Brian gave an inspirational talk and emphasized a recurring theme that I’ve heard many times before: Cooperation. He discussed the opportunities and challenges crews from 16 countries working together experienced. He especially highlighted Expedition 34/35 of which Chris Hadfield was involved. Brian pointed out the Chris will add another “first” to his list of firsts:

• First Canadian to enter the Russian Space Station Mir

• First Canadian to do a spacewalk

• First Canadian to control the Canadarm

• First Canadian to command the International Space Station.

After lunch, I took in the “Return to the Moon in Your Classroom.” There were many hands-on activities. There was a new twist on the moon cratering lesson that I’ve seen done in classes. Aluminum trays were lined with crumpled chunks of graham crackers (or chocolate chip cookies). A thin layer of sand was sprinkled over the top and we had to drop various objects into the tray from the same height to see which displaced the most material to form a crater. We used dice, tennis ball, rubber ball, odd shaped plastic pieces. We smoothed the surface over again and threw the objects into the tray at a 60 degree them 45 degree angle to see which displaced the most material in the base to create a crater. Different groups got different results depending how hard they threw the various objects. It was a great experiment that you could do with children from Kindergarten to Grade 6.

The final session of the day was “When You Wish Upon a Space Station.” Dee Mock of Baylor and Christine Graham McKinney of ISD kept all 25 of us moving as we went from one activity to the next designed for K – 2. I took this workshop because I’d like to design a workshop for Primary school children that gets them involved in space activities. More on this later.

To be continued…

SEEC continued

SEEC (con’t)

The Moon Buggy has a separate motor that operates each wheel and each wheel has its own hydraulics. I sat inside and it’s like sitting in the seat of a semi that hauls an eighteen-wheeler. It’s currently called the “Chariot”, but I don’t know if that will be its final name. The Vehicle Mock Up Tour facility is a large hanger full of rovers, habitat canisters, and models of the new Orion spacecraft.

I grabbed a sandwich in the 0-Gravity Restaurant and headed toward my next session, namely: “Aerospace Connections – Become an ACE Teacher (Using Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace System).” You are probably wondering what I as a Canadian am doing attending this workshop. I’m always searching for ideas and lessons that have to do with flight. It was fascinating and I picked up a couple of ideas for a workshop I’m creating for STAO in November, 2013 entitled, “Flying Things.” It’s designed for Grade 6 educators.

There was an hour break to relax and at 5:30 we watched the film “Inspire Me Africa.” In this film, American teachers climb the highest peak on the African continent to find out who they really are (see http://www.inspireme-africa.com/) for more information. At 6:30 pm it was “A Taste of Space – Epicurean.” This event is a cultural meet and greet experience showcasing the area’s finest restaurants, food and beverages. I sampled three kinds of roast beef sandwiches and a couple of slices of pizza that were twice as long as pizza at home. They had to be doubled over the paper plate to stay on the plate. All the food that I consumed was delicious.

The shuttle picked us up at 9:30 pm and returned us to the hotel, where I enjoyed some green tea before calling it a night. I was in bed at 10:00 pm, exhausted after a very busy yet highly informative day.

To be continued….

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC), 2013

The 19th Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) at Johnson’s Space Center, Houston TX can be summarized in a word: “WOW!”

Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX was an amazing adventure. I met so many people from so many countries. Everybody was friendly and took a genuine interest in the sharing of ideas.

I landed at my hotel, woofed down a cup of coffee and took a shuttle to Houston Space Center. I registered, got my bag of goodies and met Jeff Kaloostian. Jeff is an aerospace technology instructor and a retired colonel from the U.S.A.F. Jeff and I became friends. He too was presenting at the conference. We headed back to our hotel that much to Jeff’s surprise had a bar. Following some light libation (tonic water for me) we met an hour later in the lobby to go to supper at a nearby restaurant.

Jeff was fascinating to listen to. He flew T-38 trainers. He said that you didn’t get into this plane; you wrapped the plane around your body and flew. An interesting analogy, I thought.

Thursday morning, I was up at 5:00 am, had two coffees in my room, did my morning shave, ___, shower and shampoo, and once dressed, headed to the lobby where I dined on scrambled eggs, fresh muffins and strawberry jam. I took the shuttle to the Space Center with Jeff. The keynote address was by NASA astronaut Lee Morin, M.D., Ph.D. Following his talk, Jeff and I parted ways. I took the Aircraft Ops Tour at Ellington Field. We saw the T-38s and listen to a Captain explain its function and purpose. We were supposed to also see the plane that creates free fall and a plane that creates high altitude research, but the hangers were closed to visitors. All we saw were the T-38s. No matter This plane held my interest.

Back to the Space Center and onto another bus for the Vehicle Mock-up Tour. The bus took us into a secure area of the Space Center. We entered a large hanger where there were all shapes and sizes of rovers, some for the moon and others for Mars. These were so cool. I saw a moon buggy with 6 wheels that operated independently of the others. This buggy was designed to go over rocks 1.5 feet high (the approximate diameter of the wheels.) It looked a lot like the moon buggy in the 007 film Moonwalker. What a fascinating place. I got a chance to speak one-on-one with an electrical engineer. This was a most interesting tour all around.

To be continued…

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Taylor's Pneumatic Toys

My book, Taylor's Pneumatic Toys is now available from Barnes & Noble and Amazon. The book has plans and pictures of how to build workable models out of wood. This is my first book and I am very excited about it.

I have drawings, pictures, parts lists for each toy. Children have the opportunity to learn the joy of working with wood to the construction of an end product. Children and adults alike have learned through my workshops how to make many of the toys in this book. The sparkle in the eyes of a child and the broad smile of an educator when they have made the toy and when they see it working is most gratifying.

I am not a carpenter. My “toys” are available for everyone to build and with care, should last a lifetime.

So let the fun begin.