Saturday, November 10, 2007

MIT Flashlight Building

We went to MIT this week to the Edgerton Center. They have an amazing outreach program for the city of Cambridge, and I did a little research and found out that homeschoolers can access it as well. We did a workshop called flashlight building. It was so fun. Maybe we should do it as a funshop at a conference. That'd be fun!

They had to make a complete circuit, but one of the best parts was "shredding the flashlights" and putting them back together so that they would work.

This is the innards of the flashlight. It is hard to see, but there is a light bulb, a circuit, a 9 volt battery and a set of straight and stranded wires all attached.

The finished product. As girly as it can be!!

I was able to make one, too (hooray!!) and I made it yellow and black for Declan in honor of the transformer Bumblebee.


Christy said...

I'd love to find out more about this, this could make a great co-op activity when I have to host it. I find it hard to come up with ideas the kids will enjoy. Did the take the flashlight apart themselves? Or were they given all the parts and had to put it together to get it to work? I need to think about this more, but having an electricity experiment could be fun!

Jessica said...

It was pretty easy if you know something about electronics, as I know you do. There was a small momentary button, a clip to insert the lightbulb, a small lightbulb, a nine-volt battery, a set of stranded wire attached to a clip to go on the battery, and solid wire to go from one end of the button to one end of the bulb.
So...bulb-stranded wire-battery-stranded wire-button-solid wire-bulb.

Then, everything was duct taped to a rectangle of cardboard, and then the card borad was inserted into a cardboard tube with a hole punched on the side for the button to slip through. There were two cups, one with a hole for the lightbulb, to fit over each end.

Did that make you even more confused?!?!?

By the way, I LOVE swiss chard!