Thursday, November 4, 2010

Insanity by Electromagnet

This weeks science experiments, cheerily portrayed in time lapse videography by the overly excited "Justin," (picture a young, curly haired, home video obsessed Ty Pennington of Math and Science) were the ultimate outrage.  If you've ever tried to make an electromagnet out of a household iron nail, wild spools of partially stripped wire, and AA battery, then rig them up into a cardboard box "crane" to explain to a 5 and 7 year old how the technology works, you'll know just how I felt this afternoon.  In short, it's a mercy I didn't take the explanatory dvd out and stomp it to death in front of three horror struck little girls.

In the end, as long as someone was pressing the stripped wired to either end of our battery (taped inside the "cab" of our "crane"), than our mechanism would pick up it's load of paperclips.  This is the first week I've managed to keep cool during the outrageously complicated and time intensive rigs they have prescribed, and actually had quite a bit of fun.

Levity trying out a simple electromagnet

AA battery, connected to two ends of stripped wire off of our solenoid



Our home made "crane"

By connecting a thread to the tall dowel, which spins inside the spool mounted to the bottom of the
box, the thread then passes up the rainbow ruler, through a length of straw for ease of movement.  Then the thread attaches to the solenoid made up of wire tripple wrapped around an iron nail.
The stripped ends of the wire double back to attach to the positive and negative end of the battery,
mounted on the wall of the box.  Whenever both ends are in contact, the nail becomes electro-magnetized.  If you turn the dowel, it shortens the length of the thread, which winches up the wire wrapped nail, thus lifting the paperclips.  Hoorah.

1 comment:

Bill and Charlotte said...

I'm glad you have a good sense of humor! You make me smile : )