Here, with the background hurly-burly of a Latin class prepping for an examination, I tested and ran an electric motor that I built. The video is only a minute, but it parallels the work of Dr. Arvind Gupta, who runs Toys out of Trash:
This is part of my overall course in electricity, which I described and documented in photographs here, as part of the Maker’s Grimoire.
Tomorrow I get to see if I can teach a bunch of second and third graders how to do this… right before a two-hour class on computer programming. Should be fun!
The Motor Itself
The motor itself is not particularly complicated. It’s a rubber band passed twice around a D-cell battery, with a safety pin on either end of the battery under the rubber band. The coil of insulated wire has been wrapped around the battery 9-10 times to form a coil or a spring. One end has been completely stripped of insulation, the other end is stripped on three sides but not the fourth. And it works. The washers are there solely to balance the battery against the torque that the motor generates. There’s also a small ceramic magnet, purchased from Home Depot, that provides the static electromagnetic field
Yesterday afternoon, I wasn’t convinced that I was going to be able to get this motor to work before class tomorrow. Today, it turned out that I needed a half-hour of fiddling before I got it working properly. Voila!