Here’s the device I constructed from mostly scrap material. It’s been called the ‘steady-hand game.’ The goal in this challenge is for the player to not to complete the circuit!
If any part of the metal wand touches the wire, it completes the circuit, which is connected to a rudimentary ‘fan’. Took me about 45 minutes to assemble the contraption.
I admit, the challenge was a tad too difficult. I could have made it easier, but it tends to be more fun if it triggers the fan. Perhaps for a younger group I could have straightened the wire, or bent back the metal ‘wings’.
Material: wood, scrap wire, duct tape, old plastic container, 9-volt battery, copper wire.
- The Wand: Metal egg beater from the Dollar Store. Bend back some of the loops to create wing-like protrusions.
- Fan: Made from an old CD, with a piece of Duct tape to cover the center hole. Pierce the tape with the top of the motor. Connect the positive and negative terminals of the motor to the battery
- The motor. Available at any hobby store, Radio Shack, or online
- Battery: Ideally a 9-volt battery. D-size battery will also work fine.
Expand the idea! While this is a great way to incorporate it into a unit about electricity and circuits, you could get some students to design an elaborate set up: More complex coils of wire, different size wands, and different circuits that set off off a bell, a light bulb, a buzzer, and a fan, depending on which circuit the wand touches.