Kenzie McManus, McKayla Buehler and Brooke Thompson, all take Matt Melvin's woods production class. The goal of the class is not only to be able to make items from wood but also to understand the marketing and selling of products. Students are encouraged to make simple wooden items in mass quantities they can then sell.
The girls made wooden spoons - but realized the production time was overwhelming. Then they made some simple desk organizers and sold several to teachers and friends. Their third project was a wooden toy.
They call it a "Weeee stick" because when you play with it and get it working, you just feel like saying "weeee."
Kenzie said Melvin showed the class one of the toys and they decided to see if they could make them.
"It's really cool and it's kind of fun," said McKayla.
But there was just one problem - the Weee stick is geared for younger children and the girls just couldn't sell them to high school classmates. That didn't stop them from being successful though.
They were weighing options about what to do with their wooden toys and decided to donate the toys to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum which features hands-on learning for young children. The toys are perfect and encourage children to understand how simple machines work.
By rubbing a stick across the ribbed edges of another stick, a propeller on a nail at the end begins to spin. And by applying pressure differently, operators can "magically" make the propeller change spinning directions.
"They're really fun once you figure out how to work them," said Brooke. "Hopefully kids will like them."