4th, 5th (a)

Eli Whitney Museum

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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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New 2019 design

Violin 2021

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Construct a two string instrument and a bow. Devise experiments to modify pitch and tone and volume. Consider the variables of materials, tension, touch and your own dexterity... all experiments measured by ear.

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Pinball Machine

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A popular project that teaches game design (beginnings, middles and ends), logic (rewards for difficulty), marble movement (caroms, momentum) and creative design (good games must still attract players.) A rare exploration of the work of play.

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Rubber Band Car

Rubber Band Car

Students construct cars powered by rubber bands and measure their performance after 20 minutes of practice. Lively insights into the mechanics, measurement and math of motion. Great for a followup program on creative elaboration. New design now employs wheels of diameter 1/π.

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Catapult

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Explore the ancient and challenging mechanics of catapults. Rubber bands power this model. Safe for people and places when used with the ping pong ball provided. Make Happy Birds and fling them with accuracy.

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CT Clipper Ship

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In the first half of the 19th century, Connecticut joined the race to California and China in sleek, bold Clipper Ships. Construct a model clipper with a hold to export and import cargo that built Connecticut's industry and commerce.

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Rocks of Connecticut

Rocks 2013 lens, light

Each child will build a display box to sort and test 6 (plus a mystery rock) rocks and minerals brought to the Museum from across Connecticut. Each sample will have different properties.

Every student will learn to use and will take home a lighted field microscope (10x - 60x).

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Machine Design: The Vocabulary of Motion

Choreographing Action
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A basic vocabulary of movements controls every mechanical device. Leonardo daVinci identified and drew the most important of these. Learn one of three classic arrangements to control the direction, speed and shape of movement. Invent an artful application for your device. Then, connect yours to someone else's machine and let them work together with a set or series of pulleys to combine movement and meaning.

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