6, 7, 8th

Eli Whitney Museum

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Drawing Machine

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Build a remarkable drawing machine from 1913 adapted by Senior Apprentice Angus Macmullen and Educator Josh Revkin. Since their first adaptation, it's been revised three more times. We will teach you some ways to program it. Then you will go on to invent your own programs. The possibilities are infinite. Add color and shadows.

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The Inventive Arm

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With modular wooden pieces, wire and rubber bands, construct a hand with fingers. The parts will work in a dozen basic configurations.

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Blended Lights

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Build a project that lets you blend primary color red, blue and green leds to produce white light. Then, begin experimenting with blocking one led after another to create colored shadows to see what happens. Understand Additive and Subtractive color using LED lights.

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Sustainable Energy - 2020

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Windmills have captured renewable energy for up to 2000 years. In new forms, wind machines will harness even more power in the future do help us do work. Can we demonstrate that a wind-powered machine can do work for us?

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Bridges are a natural laboratory of engineering: they test the strength of materials and the durability, connections, patterns of distributing loads, shifting loads and environments. Construct model bridges that help you identify the many challenges that bridges must master.

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Weather Station

Weather Station 2013

Nearly everything we do is affected by the weather. So weather forcasting is a special science. To create a weather broadcast however, you need to gather data and interpret the meanings. Our Weather Station measures 1) temperature, 2) wind direction 3) wind speed 4) rainfall and describes cloud formations.

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Flying Pulleys: energy transfer

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Sometimes you have to strip away all the non-essential parts to see an idea at work. Neil Downie proposes a clever study of the exchange of speed for force. A second array of pulleys float between input pulleys and the output pulley. An elegant display of force in motion.

Counting on friends: what can your little acrobats tell you about the changes in speed or
power (torque)?

Inspired by: Neil A. Downie Vacuum Bazookas, Electric Rainbow Jelly
Princeton University Press.© 2001, p 121

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Simple Machine Catapult

Simple Machine Catapult

When you build a catapult with three simple machines as part of the design (lever, pulley, screw), you add multiple levels of complexity to an already elegantly conceived machine. Adjust trajectory, control trigger mechanism and launch ping pong balls with more thoughtful plans than just point and release.

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The Whitney Relay

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The Whitney Relay is a set of inter­connect­able parts that lets students master the art and science of energy transfer in the tradition of the Rube Goldberg Machine or its contemporary Japanese masterpiece: the Pythagoras Switch. Each student receives 5 ramps, 8 marbles, 6 blocks, and assorted parts to construct a chain reaction that could include your whole class. Thoughtful lessons in mechanics, invention and teamwork.

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Dynabrolly: Waves


Looking at wave forms at different speeds and the effect of weight, air friction and gravity. As the speed changes, see the different number of waves traveling around the edge of the cloth.

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Hill Quest

Simple Wedge

Wheels, axles, chassis parts, connectors and rubber bands are the basic components of each kit that allows students to construct cars that sprint or creep to the top of a wooden ramp…jousting with another student’s car. Challenge: Beat your opponent to the top of the three foot ramp and hold your ground. The project tests all the dynamics of Force and Motion and tests planning and problem solving.

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Micro Architecture

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Our micro-blocks and glue quickly and flexibly construct castles, temples, pyramids, Egyptian or Roman villas or fairy tale keeps. These models capture the exterior form and style of buildings and allow some interior detail. Castles and temples are perhaps the most expressive projects. We can adapt to your needs.

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