Jonathan Hare and The Brighton Science Festival
click here for the YouTube video of the windmill workshops
Brighton Science Festival Workshops
2013 / 2008 - Voice on a light beam workshops
We will take a small tube and cover one end in aluminium foil. If we talk into the tube the foil will vibrate. Any sunlight reflected off the foil will go in slightly different directions depending on the moment-to-moment foil vibrations. Amazingly the sound information of your voice has modulated the light and you can use it to send a light-beam signal as far as the beam will travel - in principle even through the vacuum of space! If you shine the foil refected light onto a solar cell you will convert the light into a changing electric signal and if you amplify this and send it to headphones or a speaker you can hear your light-on-the-sunbeam voice. In these workshops you put your voice on a light beam!
voice on a light beam article, light beam mini film
2011 - Neuron workshops
Each particpant has a box which includes indicator lights, a push switch and wires bringing in and taking signal out to neighbouring boxs. You will only press your switch if the correct lights are ON on your box. These lights will only turn on if you are getting the correct signal from a neighbour. When you press your switch it passes a signal to another box (or possibly several neighbours at once). Some signals tell you to be active ('press the button'), some tell you to be be in-active (release the button). Your actions will effect your neighbours ... and your neighbours will effect you! You are each like a single neuron in a neural network. You are like a simple brain with active and inhibitor neurons - what will emerge will be fun ... but only if you play your part in the network.
2010 - Amazing Machine workshops
We use everyday objects to make up an amazing machine to send a signal from A to B (across the classroom). We crete a sort of crazy domino run using levers, weights, springs, Action Men, dollies and all sorts of stuff to make the most amazing machine you will ever see and experiment with! In the process you will learn about forces (levers and pullies), gravity (weight, mass and inerta) and timing.
2009 - Windmill workshops
Turning magnets near to coils of wire can create electricity - this is the basis of a generator or dynamo. We will attach a simple generator to homemade wind turbine so you can make electrical power from the wind. We use our imagination and creativity to devise our own turbines. We make use of paper, paper and plastic cups, forks, spoons, paper plates ... all sorts of household objects to make out own unique designs. We use this to create electricity to power: buzzers, LED torchs, calculators and radios!
windmill articles, light beam mini film
2007 - Potato battery workshops
We will make simple electrochemical cells from potatos, screws and pencil 'leads' and wire them up make a batteries. A zinc screw and carbon rod pushed into a potato will produce about 1V (open circuit) and deliver a couple of mA (short circuit). If we wire up many in parallel we can multiply the current, if we wire up many in series we can multiply the voltage. In these workshop we will wire series and parallel circuits to produce enough power to drive calculators, LED torchs and piezo buzzers.
sea water battery article, potato battery mini film
Jonathan Hare (CSC) and Richard Robinson (Bri Sci Fest)
THE CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE
Dr Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex. BN1 9QJ.
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