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Inventors Kit 9: Solar Powered Car

Posted by Matthew Little on

In this activity we are going to build a soalr powered car. This uses the motor to spins some wheels and make our car move! The main issue with making our car is that the motor is not very powerful. This means we have to make sure the car is as efficient as possible and that any friction is low. Friction is the resitance to motion. Try pushing different objects along the floor - some will be harder to push and some will be easier. If you push a large book along the floor then it might be quite difficult....

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Inventors Kit 7: Sunlight indicator

Posted by Matthew Little on

In this activity we are going to investigate how much sunlight the is each day. To do this we are going to built two different types of sunlight indicator. These will give an idea of how bright the sun is and can be used for further experiments! Solar Dial We are going to need the solar PV connected to the motor again! So please wire your kit up like this: When the sun is bright the motor will spin very quickly. This is too quick for us to easily see and count how many times it has spun around. So...

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Inventors Kit 8: Solar Music Maker

Posted by Matthew Little on

Let's make some noise! We are making a solar powered chime, which will give us an audiable indication of how sunny it is. I added a stick to the motor to hit some bottles with different levels of water to create some chimes. What else could you play with your solar motor? What instruments could you adapt to play with the sun? We will need our solar powered motor circuit again! To make the music machine I added a 'beater' to the motor. I made the beater from a small section of bamboo skewer. You could use other things -...

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Inventors Kit 10: Generate you own power!

Posted by Matthew Little on

In this activity we will look at generating power from spinning the motor. We know that when we apply a voltage from the battery to the motor then it will spin. This also works the other way: if you spin the motor you will get a voltage on the output. When we are spinning the motor to generate a voltage we call this a 'generator'. This is how a lot of our electricity is generated: in a wind tubine the wind pushes past and spins the blades which turns a generator which generates electricity. Even in a coal, nuclear or...

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Inventors Kit 6: Solar Flower

Posted by Matthew Little on

In this activity we are going to make a solar power flower. This can be put outside in the garden or on a window sill and will spin around when the sun hits the solar panel.  First we need to wire up the motor to the solar panel, just like we did for the solar spinner. We are also going to need a small plastic pop bottle. You will also need: Some paint Some blue-tac Some masking/kraft tape (not essential) Scissors Warning: This activity will need careful cutting of the plastic bottle, so make sure an adult helps you with...

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