Thursday, February 25, 2010

Science Carnival

I volunteered to be the chair for the PTA's math and science night. Since last year's Art Festival was so successful when it was done on a Saturday, we moved our math and science night to a Saturday too.
My motivation for volunteering was that I really dig this hands-on science stuff. I even have a website devoted to it but I really don't seem to make enough time to do much of it these days. Well, this sort of forces my hand!
I have a long list of activities I am busily getting ready. Part of the work involves digging equipment out from storage, and refurbishing it. For example, I have a Van de Graaf generator that I bought on Ebay several years ago. When I first used it, it worked great. Scarily great, in fact. But the rubber belt soon self destructed, and the thing has been sitting in its box ever since.
So, not being able to track down a manufacturer for the machine, I am making a belt. My first attempt wasn't that good: I pieced a belt together from several strips of latex rubber. But the machine kept discharging every time one of the joints went across the rollers. So now I am attempting to make a new belt from a bicycle inner tube. At least this belt will only have one joint. I'll report on how it works, as well as updating the progress on all the other activities I have planned, including the solar marshmallow roaster.