Design and Make a Candle Carousel (Grade 7)


  • Understanding Structures and Mechanisms - Form and Function
  • Understanding Earth and Space Systems - Heat in the Environment


This multi-step project is an excellent way to introduce students to sheet metal fabrication and fastening techniques. While such an activity is ideally done in a metalworking facility, the cutting, bending, and soldering of tinplate can be done with just a few basic hand tools. determined by the relationship between input and output forces.


There is a special celebration/anniversary about to take place in your family. Because you have been asked to help with the decorations, you want to create something very unique and eyecatching. Design and make a twirling mobile suitable for a table centrepiece.

Design Specifications:

  • The heat from two or more candles must power it.
  • It must be made of metal.
  • For safety reasons, it must be difficult to knock over.
  • It must be interesting and attractive.

Students will be required to submit:

  • Prior to fabrication – list of brainstorming ideas, 3 rough sketches, final design choice appropriately reflects the social/family occasion
  • At the end of the design process - completed prototype, self evaluation, a labeled scientific diagram and a brief explanation of how the carousel works using the particle theory.


  • 1 9 cm fan wheel template showing 12 blades
  • 1 metal lid of a cookie tin or large food jar* for the base
  • 1 large sewing or darning needle (must have a sharp point)
  • 4 jumbo paper clips or wire, tin plate (could be from recycled food tins*)
  • 50/50 solder and flux
  • spray paint, acrylic paint & brushes, permanent markers
  • tin snips
  • 40 - 80 watt soldering iron,
  • jumbo >bull clips= (for clamping work while soldering), needle-nose pliers, awl (or sharp nail)
  • Optional: spot welder, or pop riveter.