Steve Pizzey: Windy City
In addition to directing Science Projects Ltd., I have also chaired the British Interactive Group (BIG), which organizes an annual fabricators meeting where participants bring a new exhibit idea to try out. The exhibits are usually simple, with the aim being that you bring in your idea and leave with everyone else'sa win/win situation for everybody.
One idea I had was called Windy City, in which blocks of wood, boxes, tins, or whatever were placed in front of a blower and the airflow shown by threads of wool.
When I first tried it, I used some cowboy figures from a toy store and tied the wool like long scarves. I then had some children try out the exhibit and found that they had moved the blocks around to represent buildings they knew, and placed the cowboys so they were hidden behind them. They were surprised to find that the wool blew straight out behind round buildings, but not rectangular ones.
My most recent "cheap" exhibit idea is Howling Cats...but that's another story.
What does it do?
This exhibit allows the user to explore airflow around buildings.
How does it do that?
By using a fan set on blow for the "wind" and using cans and boxes as "buildings" to make the cityscape. Threads of wool tied to cocktail sticks stuck in corks reveal the airflow.
You can make a really smart version using an industrial fan and "buildings" fixed to a lazy Susan or turntable that can be turned to alter the effective angle of the wind.
You can write to Steve Pizzey at Science Projects Ltd., 20 St. James St., Hammersmith, London, W6 9RW, United Kingdom.
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