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The Creative Science Centre - by Dr Jonathan P. Hare Pulleys are very useful when we want to transfer energy from one place (or device) to another. For example from a wind or watermill etc. to an electrical generator. Described here are some very simple homemade pulleys that can be made from bottle tops and scraps of wood. These simple pulleys have been made from two bottle tops fitted back-to-back on a threaded metal shaft. The two tops are carefully drilled in their centers then two washers and two nuts secure the tops in place from either side. To make one pully: Cut three circular discs of wood from plywood: two large and one slightly smaller. Repeat the process to make another pully of a different size suitable for the drive-speed ratio you require. Once attached the two pulleys are connected with a drive band. Click here for details of the Rough Science windmill and pulley system A large pulley was mounted to the windmill which drove a smaller pulley on the electrical generator. home | diary | whats on | CSC summary | latest news

DIY Energy Toy: Kinetic Energy Carousel . Adventures in Learning Want to make a fun DIY toy that moves? This kinetic carousel spins wildly and demonstrates potential and kinetic energy. Pin It Materials Pin It paper and carousel template (pdf)markersscissorsplastic lid – about 3″ diameter (peanut butter jar lids are perfect)wide rubber band (thin rubber bands won’t work!) Note: You must use plastic tubing. Instructions Pin It Print template on plain paper or cardstock. How to Play with the Carousel Hold the center tube and the carousel top. Tips Make sure the rubber band is able to unwind. The Science Behind this Project Kinetic Carousels demonstrate two types of energy: potential energy and kinetic energy. Potential Energy is stored energy. Kinetic energy is the energy of an object in motion. Extend the Activity Experiment with different materials for the plastic tube. More Adventures in Learning

Simple Mechanics Cams The basic principle of the cam is to turn a circular motion into a linear one. This is referred to as reciprocating movement. In it's simplest form you turn a handle to make something move up and down. The cam-follower is connected to, and part off, a shaft known as the Push-Rod. The push-rod controls the direction of motion and transfers the cam's movement. They are found in many machines and toys. Concentric Cams An concentric cam is a disc with its centre of rotation positioned 'off centre'. As it rotates it pushes the flat follower upwards and then allows it to drop downwards. A mechanical toy based on a series of concentric cams is seen below. More Examples Below is a mechanical toy based on a CAM mechanism. Designing Cams In order to design a cam you need to know what you want it to do. The cam-follower has lifted by this amount. Calculating Lift The concentric cam, is a circle with an offset center. Cam-follower Plate Cam Shapes Remember that the cam-follower has to work smoothly.

Investigation Roadmaps - Motion Introduction STC Motion and Design is a 15-lesson kit intended for students in grade 5. It introduces students to the physics of motion and the importance of technological design. More… Big Ideas This kit is focused on both science content ideas and science process skills. Force as a push or pull More… Foundational Images Along with a variety of drawings, sketches, and multiviews, three of our foundational images are used in conjunction with the STC Motion and Design kit: Vectors , Particles and the Magnifier tool. To get a better idea of how some of these foundational images can be used in the classroom, refer to the Motion and Design roadmap below. Walk Beside Me: Making an Archimedes Screw We kicked off our simple machines unit this week with this fun project from our Machines book. The materials you need to build your own Archimedes Screw are: A plastic bottle (the one in the book was a 2L bottle, but we used a water bottle)A dowel (we used a pencil)CardstockA tack Cut off the bottom of the bottle, and cut a triangular hole in the top, like in the picture. Cut six cardstock circles (I might even do eight if I did this again), just big enough to fit inside the bottle. Cut a hole big enough for the dowel to fit through in the center of each circle. Glue (actually, I used tape, and that worked well) the circles together to form a spiral/screw. Push the dowel through the holes, and stretch out the spiral along its length. Slide the screw into the bottle, and tack it to the lid. It's fun watching the screw scoop up cereal through the hole in the bottle and move it upward. This is obviously something that interests him, because he paid attention for the whole lesson.

Oscillating Bird Science Toy For Kids I recently made a new oscillating bird design for a magazine, so I thought I’d share it here too. After finding this toy idea on the brilliant Science Toy Maker site a couple of years ago, I made this woodpecker. It’s based off of an old folk toy, and is a great way to teach kids about the science of potential energy. It’s easy to make, and very fun to play with. Click on the template below, then print. Coloring Sheet Version Below. Instructions: – Click on the template, print and cut it out. – Take a plastic straw and cut off one inch, then tape it in between the bird halves (see photo). – Apply glue or tape to the rest of the bird and fold in half, sticking both sides together. – Cut a thin rubber band (the thinner the better) and thread it through the straw. For more detailed instructions and to learn the physics of how this works, check out the Science Toy Maker post here. Original Template Below.