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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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Inventors Kit 5: Solar Light

Posted by Matthew Little on

We are going to make a light that is powered by the sun! We need to use the little LED which is in your kit: it has a clear plastic case and two small wires. An LED is a Light Emitting Diode. It is a very efficient light. You might see some on devices around your house. They can be in lots of different colours: you probably have one on the front of your TV or on a radio. Some torches and house lights also use LEDs now. An LED has a positive (+) and a negative (-) lead and...

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Inventors Kit 4: Solar Spinner

Posted by Matthew Little on

We are now going to use the solar panel to power our motor with the sun, no batteries required! This time we want to use two cable connector block to connect the solar panel directly to the motor, as shown here. If you put on the motor connector to the motor then you can see the motor spinning more easily. Takes this to a window or (if you can) outside and try pointing the solar panel at the sun. What happens to the motor? Does it start to turn? If not - is it a sunny day? Are you pointing...

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