Stories tagged Make

Just in time for Father's Day, MAKE Magazine has come out with a top-10 list of things for kids under 10 to make with Dad. But let's not rely on stereotypes: these activities are fun and simple and can be done by anyone. On the list: make a vibrobot, make a jellyfish casing for your LED throwie, sculpt some play dough circuits, make a mason jar terrarium or a tabletop biosphere, create stationery from junk mail, learn to fold an origami flying disk, power a toy car with a mousetrap, disrupt peace and quiet everywhere with some trick crackers, and end the experience with a frozen chocolate banana pop. Sounds fun, right? So get making!

Make: Day: Be there or be square. Or be there and be square. But, either way, be there.
Make: Day: Be there or be square. Or be there and be square. But, either way, be there.Courtesy SMM
Hey y'all! Tomorrow is Make: Day at the Science Museum of Minnesota from 10:00 to 3:00.

There's going to be robot stuff, and music stuff, and invention stuff, and hacking stuff, and engineering stuff, and activities (stuff). Check out the web page about it, and then come check it out in person tomorrow! Tons of cool people will be there, including our current Scientist on the Spot, instrument Maker Tim Kaiser!

Come and get your gourds exploded with knowledge!

August Ferdinand Mobius, German astronomer, mathematician, and author, was born on November 17, 1790. He's best known for the discovery in 1858 of the Mobius strip, a two-dimensional surface with only one side. Celebrate his birthday by making a Mobius strip of your own. Here's how.

Nov
15
2006

Storm chasers know that puffy cumulus clouds often cause sudden rainstorms, while storms associated with stratus clouds form more slowly. Now physicists at England’s Open University have finally found an explanation.

They propose that neighboring water droplets in a stable stratus cloud don’t crash into each other because they’re all moving at about the same speed. But fast-forming, turbulent cumulous clouds contain water droplets moving at many different speeds. They crash into each other and form larger drops. As the turbulence grows, the drops grow quickly and fall as rain within a few minutes.

Cumulous cloud: These puffy clouds are associated with sudden rainstorms. Scientists are beginning to understand why.
Cumulous cloud: These puffy clouds are associated with sudden rainstorms. Scientists are beginning to understand why.

Sun and rain
Ever noticed the bright, moving lines on the bottom of a stream, bathtub, or swimming pool? They’re called caustics, and they’re caused when ripples on the water’s surface focus sunlight. (Caustics form whenever light rays are bent by a curved surface or object and then projected onto another surface.

Caustics have a characteristic shape. Physicists can graph the phenomenon mathematically, and the graph also describes other phenomena, such as particle motion or the movement of raindrops within a cumulus cloud.

Caustics: What do the rippling patterns on the bottom of a swimming pool and cumulous clouds have in common? (Photo by R. Motti)
Caustics: What do the rippling patterns on the bottom of a swimming pool and cumulous clouds have in common? (Photo by R. Motti)

Atmosphere to outer space
The researchers say their finding won’t have any impact on weather forecasting. But particle collisions in turbulent gases must have been involved in planet formation. Perhaps the same theory can be applied?

If you're at the museum on Saturday afternoon (11/18), the MakeIt team can help you play with caustics. Does bending mylar in a different direction produce a new pattern? Does using a different color flashlight or a brighter or dimmer light affect the design?

You can also play with caustics at home.

Nov
11
2006

On Wednesday the Make It Team from the museum's Youth Science Center talked about research using animals.

MakeIt Team
MakeIt Team

The teens watched four short videos:

  • Diabetes Hormone, a video about Diabetes research using mice
  • Fluoride in the Brain, a video about the effects of fluoride on mice and humans
  • A video about animal research from PETA
  • Hibernation, showing how animal hibernation research impacts space exploration.

After watching the videos, teens used the Democs Game to talk about the pros and cons of animal testing. Democs is a role playing activity where teens are assigned different view points and then asked to debate issues from those view points.

See what else Make It has done recently.