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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Penguin Elevator

 Yesterday's Design Challenge asked us to make a machine that fit these two simple requirements:
        - it needed to complete a task
        -it needed to use a motor (which was provided for us).

 In the beginning, the team I was a part of tried to build a car. When that proved to be too ambitious, we made a simple "elevator." We attached the motor to the edge of the table, then we taped a nail to the end of the motor. We clipped a binder clip to this nail. Then we looped a string through a cup and hung it onto the binder clip. Once we completed the circuit and allowed the motor to run, it would spin. The string that was around the cup would then twirl itself around the motor (like spaghetti on a fork). This brought the cup up from the floor to the table. But we still felt like it was missing something, so we added a penguin and voilĂ ! The penguin elevator was created.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Exploratorium Workshop

  The theremin was the most confusing exhibit I got to see at my visit to the Exploratorium today. I couldn't figure out how you could make music using it without touching the theremin itself!

The most interesting exhibit I saw today was the glow discharge tube! I thought it was interesting because I have always wondered how auroras worked and how they made such fascinating displays of light in the sky. The glow discharge tube explained just that.

The listening vessels deserve an honorable mention! I grasped the concept of how they worked, but just being able to have a conversation with someone all the way across the room was captivating, engaging, and fun.