Friday, April 18, 2008

Problem Solved

My youngest had a problem.    Like a lot of 9 year olds, if the problem is important, he's going to work it out.  His problem was with his Ferrari.  His F1 Scuderia Ferrari with moving pistons, a working suspension, removable engine cover, and working steering.  

James is a Lego maniac.  He often awakens his siblings on Saturday by digging through his bin with literally thousands of Lego pieces in it.  It's one of those giant, flat bins that folks use for storage under their beds.  His is nearly full.

The Ferrari was a Christmas present this year.  It has about 1500 pieces.  It is a 1:8 scale model. He and Lee put it together in 2 days.  It was on display in his room until last week.  Last week James decided to upgrade.  He wanted it to move on it's own, but how?  For his birthday this year, he got a Lego Ferris Wheel that has a motor.  Well, there ya go!  Connect said motor to the Ferrari and away you go.  Easier said than done.  He worked for some time placing the motor in the passenger compartment of the Ferrari and connecting it to the parts that would make the car move forward.  The trouble was, the passenger compartment is the weakest part of the structure and bowed in the middle from the weight of the motor.  It would move, but only occasionally.  Plan B---place the motor outside the car on wheels so it wouldn't weigh down the car and still be able to go along as the car moved.  This idea worked great in forward, but reverse was a problem.  The car would run into the motor and over the cords that connected the two pieces.  Plan C was hatched and the problem was solved---attach the motor (that's on wheels) to the car.  Forward and reverse are now achieved with ease.

I gotta tell ya, the thought process astounds me.  Just attaching the motor to the right parts of the car so it would move, blows my mind.  Something I couldn't do.  I guess we all have our gifts. I'm just excited that he loves moving parts.  He's always drawing car suspensions or new motor configurations or inventing new kinds of motors (on paper) all the time.  The brain is an amazing thing!  He also got "Popular Mechanics" for Christmas.  Maybe one day he'll be the subject of an article in that magazine?  We've just got to make sure he wears his helmet to protect that brain while doing "lets scare mom" stunts on his bicycle.  


  1. What a great picture! You make beautiful children, ceecee!! :-)
    And what a smarty he sounds like...designing those types of things at 9?? He's also got great taste in cars! :-)

  2. Wow - it sounds like your son really has a gift for mechanical-inclined things. It's so great to hear parents brag about their great kids! I think you have a budding engineer on your hands.

  3. VERY ingenious!!! My boys loved Lego's too, and would build the wildest things! James is one smart guy to figure out all that stuff. Way to go!!!

  4. I am very impressed!
    He sounds alot like my one son, who also has engineering skills and aspirations. Like you, I never fail to be amazed at what he comes up with

    Does your son like Rocketry, too?