Shoreham & Southwick

Demonstration model using Lego pieces

On page  Science

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Information boards, an electric car and several Lego models and various experiments were used to explain a variety of points for this wide-ranging session. These included
• A red and blue tower on a red base with a spring attached to a beam at the top with a bucket hanging from it and a piece of graph paper at the back. This is the apparatus for proving Hooke’s Law, in simple terms: deflection is proportional to load; put weights in the bucket, measure the deflection, plot on graph and the slope of the line is the spring constant. This was the stepping stone into mechanical design understanding stresses and strains and ultimately material properties
• Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 levers on a grey baseboard, to demonstrate types of levers. mechanical advantage and how much force is required to operate a Class 3 lever, namely human limbs, stapler etc
• “Napier’s Bones” made from brown card – an early form of calculation device, slide rules – linear and circular and a Suan Pan (Chinese abacus)
• Hooke’s Joint and Cardan Shaft below a board explaining the “Progression of Flexible Couplings” to modern day car drive couplings
• Board providing “An Introduction to Gears” with a simple gear train to demonstrate ‘1 tooth of movement by input gear = 1 tooth of movement of the output gear’, 3 speed gearbox with sliding lay shaft to demonstrate in principle the workings of a car gearbox and finally a model car outline to demonstrate the workings of the differential gear drive to the driven wheels and Ackermann Steering with rack and pinion operation
Back Room
• Microscope with display on TV screen showing the eye of a mosquito
• Board showing Hooke’s early microscope used to provide the information for his Micrographica, Gregorian and Newtonian telescopes
• The Group blowing Bubbles as the start of the session to examine the complexity and need to observe more than just the obvious
• Member blowing up balloons attached to bottles filled with vinegar and bi-carbonate of soda
• Members explored (and thoroughly enjoyed driving) the Toylander electric car
• Unfortunately it was too windy for the group to fire either the chemical or air powered rockets, which designs of which were included on boards

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