Control Panel Take-and-Make Kit

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We were pretty excited to get back the first of our Control Panel Take-and-Make kits.  This one was a little unique in that we did not give our volunteers example pictures to follow.  We did this on purpose.  We wanted each of the kits to be unique (with the exception of the Dock Station panel, but more on that later).  We did not want to influence our builders with example photos.  We did, however, give a lot of guidelines to follow, and we made all of the components and colors consistent.  That way all of the kits would have a cohesive look.  

We chose to have 3 themes for our control panels, and they are based on what would be on the ISS.  We have two docking stations with navigation-style components, two science stations with knobs, gauges and graphs, and two general gauges panels that could apply (with some imagination) to just about anything.  

We made one kit to be a set of two foam boards that would be stacked on top of each other to create one tall panel.  For the sake of consistency, one of our guidelines was that the panels would all be assembled with the foam board in the landscape postition.  

Materials Needed to Assemble the Kit

Materials Needed by the Volunteer

  • Pencil
  • Ruler/Measuring Tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun
  • Paper cutter

Number of people required to complete the kit:   1-2

Approximate time required:  2.5-3 hrs

Number of projects per kit (you can adjust this):  2 boards

Material Preparation for the Each Kit

There are instructions for each panel type in the download below.  Use the material list in each instruction packet to collect your components for each kit.  You will need to decide which gauges go with each kit.  Generally, we kept the aviation-looking gauges with the docking station.  The graphs and measurement components were good for the science panels.   The only kits that had the exact same printables were the dock station panels.  We found one volunteer that was willing to do both docking station panels so that they would be assembled identically.  When the kits come back completed, we may add a sign that says “Docking Station 1” and “Docking Station 2”.  

Download the instructions for each kit.  Use a PDF reader/writer program to customize the due date and quantities.  

Download these printables to complete your kit.  Be sure to test the sizes and layouts before you assemble and distribute the kits.  

Assemble the Kits

Material List for Each kit

  • Instruction Sheet for each type of kit
  • 2 black foam boards
  • Components for that type of kit (refer to the list in the instructions
  •  Glue sticks and glue dots

Put all of the components and materials in a bag or box and distribute them to your amazing volunteers!

The control panels will be hung in a hallway surrounded by our riveted space station wall panels.  This is another Take-and-Make kit.  We will also use this mesh tubing to connect panels to each other and the ceiling to complete the look. 

We had pictures of a few mock-ups of the panels in case any volunteers got stuck and need some visual guidance, but, so far, we haven’t had to use it.  It has been a lot of fun seeing how our volunteers have interpreted the design given the guidelines.  It makes for a good variety of panels, just like we’d find on a space station!  

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