Week 6: Exhibit Design (Electricity and Circuits)
Week 6, on March 7th, 2013, we focused on what it takes to make a good exhibit. Mandi and Mary Ann, also associated with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, are working on a project that makes interactive exhibits to bring to festivals in order to spark interest about some vital topics concerning energy. We tested the activities with the teens in order to refine them and get some feedback. We did 5 experiments total:
- Using a lemon as the power source à Making series and parallel circuits in order to make a small bulb light up
- Using water and a mill type structure to generate energy for small lights, and a buzzer
- Using a fan and a propeller to generate energy for small lights, and a buzzer
- Using solar cells and a bright light to generate energy for small lights, and a buzzer
- Using an alcohol based fuel substance to boil water and generate energy to exhibit the use of fossil fuels
We learned that it takes a lot more reusable energy to generate as much power as it would for a smaller amount of fossil fuel. Reusable energy is more underdeveloped because of this setback.
To tie into exhibit design we also posted the pros and cons about the activities on the whiteboard. This helped us to see everything about the exhibits that stood out and to refine the activity. We also watched a short video on exhibit design in order to see what strategies professional businesses use. This was a very positive lesson because it taught us more about teamwork and about the refining process in order to make great exhibits! We all agree that no idea is a bad idea, and by posting all ideas and pruning them down as a team we can make better progress.