In the Comments Below: Let Us Know Your Proving Science Ideas!
Your Project Can Involve Anything from a Scientific Apparatus to Demonstrating a Scientific Principle!
Submit a Blog in or tag your post ProvingScienceCH for a Chance to Win!
The theme this month is Proving Science and it comes from a suggestion from neuromodulator . The idea is to build a science apparatus, a measuring device or a project that demonstrates a principle of science. Examples could be: an amplifier that can detect action potentials of neurons, a project that shows different properties of waves such as reflection, refraction or wave interference, or an instrument to measure different physical quantities such as mass, temperature, time, etc. In real life, science and engineering are not easily distinguished. Scientists wind up doing some engineering work while engineers apply processes that mirror a scientific framework. This project competition is a good opportunity to demonstrate solid engineering work through objective experimentation. You can focus on a scientific discipline such as electromagnetism, phonetics, acoustics, rf, renewable energy, and whatever interests you. Engineers are focused on products that solve a need, so this is also a good opportunity to build your own test instrumentation, and do so in the name of science.
Some of the most paradigm shifting scientific discoveries began with the invention of products made by engineers. The impressive list of famous scientists who were engineers include heroes such as James Clerk Maxwell, Leonardo Di Vinci, Charles Babbage, Hedy Lamar, Michael Faraday, and so many more. Your projects can involve either building a scientific apparatus or involve demonstrating a principle of science such as in an experiment of your choosing!
Here are some past projects to help inspire you:
abg123 has always been captivated by magnetism. His discovery of core memory at the Computer History museum in Mountain View, CA triggered the idea of creating a core memory module that is interactive. He discovered Jussi Kilpelainen’s Arduino Core Memory Shield on Tindie and that was the kick he needed. He added an LED array behind the cores to illuminate each core in real time and so he could selectively flip a bit one direction with a stylus (a small screwdriver with a magnet attached). He suspects the presence of the permanent magnet is inhibiting the “destructive read” and/or the follow-up write. The result is only being able to clear the bits at this time. The next step is to create an active stylus to allow him to choose whether he wants to set or clear a bit. This will effectively enable drawing AND erasing, to make the project more interactive. Pursuing this next step is going to bring along more learning about magnets and core memory, which is the real goal behind the project.
During the Electromagnetism competition, jw0752 did a little experiment involving the Magnetostrictive Phenomenon. Magnetostriction is a property of a ferromagnetic material whereby it changes shape when it is subjected to a magnetic field. Anyone who has worked with transformers is familiar with the low frequency 50 or 60 Hz hum that can usually be heard coming from the transformer. This is an undesirable magnetostrictive effect that is causing the hum and a subsequent loss of energy in the transformer. On the other hand if you have been to the dentist and had your teeth cleaned by a hygienist using a device called a Cavitron you may have also experienced a desirable magnetostrictive effect. Since he had many of the parts and pieces used in these dental Cavitrons it seemed like a good experiment to set up some parts for a little demonstration.
During the Mixing Electronics & Water competition, kk99's idea was to create low power device with salt water cell as power supply. Here is example of salt water cell. For this he used two glass containers, two copper electrodes, and two silver electrodes. Voltage generated by these two cell was around 1.5 volt. In its current form the salt water cell was able to generate voltage around 1.7 volt and current around 4-5 uA. For this experiment its important to think about the proper material and shape of the electrodes.
Caustics are the envelope of light rays through either refraction of reflection, that causes patterns of concentrated light. One example can be seen when light "statically" bends when it refracts in glass. Another example is can be seen when the pattern is dynamic as it is affected by the surface of water. Caustic patterns are notoriously visible when the light comes from a point source or is collimated, which is the reason why the sun generates sharp patterns when interacting with the water surface (when its not covered by clouds). neuromodulator has always been amazed by the way the light interacts with the environment, so for the Merry Boxes & LEDs competition his project was to play with some of these interactions to create an interesting XMAS light show.
jc2048 has done a number of projects involving experiments on the element14 community. During the DIY Test Equipment competition, he created a Diode Tester. Operation was quite simple: He passes a current through the diode and measures the forward voltage across it. The current is controlled by the processor and the voltage read by the processor's ADC. He only intends it for signal diodes and LEDs, so the current will only go up to 50mA (it would be possible to adapt it for higher currents if you wanted to, but you'd have to look carefully at the power dissipation of the transistor). He relies on the person doing the test to get the diode the right way round and not try to sense and correct for that with the circuit. For the kind of diodes you'd test with this, they'd all stand 5V reverse voltage (the lowest are usually LEDs, but they are generally specced at 5V or 6V maximum reverse voltage).
If you want to do Energy Harvesting , you also want the powered device consume as little power as possible. koudelad first bigger electronics project was "No lies" IR Thermometer. He had previously written a few blog posts about it’s goal and evolution. It is also his first battery powered micro-controller design and he still has much to learn how to improve this device. One thing he didn’t have time to optimize is battery life. The thermometer is used twice a week on average, to check body temperature etc. The rest the time it will be in low power mode, ready to be used.
shabaz built this for anyone curious about magnetism and measuring it. This project would also be useful for school physics labs, since it is a lot cheaper to make than to buy a commercial tool (a few tens of $ USD). The project is simple to construct. It consists of a single-chip Hall-effect magnetic sensor, and it outputs a few millivolts per Gauss. Magnetic flux density is measured either in Gauss, or Tesla. A typical small magnet as found in earphones, may have a flux density of a few tens of milliTesla (10 Gauss is equal to 1 milliTesla). The output from the sensor is buffered using an op amp, and then read by an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) in a microcontroller, and output to an LCD screen. The microcontroller is an ST ARM Cortex-M0 part, on a compact development board called the .
Your Chance to Win
|Be Original||Stick to the Theme|
|List the Steps||Submit Video Proof|
|Salt water cell||Measuring Electromagnets - the Magneto Mutant Magnetic Measurement Meter (MMMMM-1000)|
|One Grand Prize Winner Wins a $200 Shopping Cart!||Three First Place Winners Win a $100 Shopping Cart|
Your Project, Your Ideas!
Every month you'll have a new poll where you'll get to decide an upcoming project competition, based on your interests, that will take place a couple of months in advance. Themes are broad in scope so that everyone can participate regardless of skill set.
What are Monthly Themes?
What are Monthly Theme Polls?
Step 2: Post in the comments section below to begin a discussion on your idea. Videos, pictures and text are all welcomed forms of submission.
Step 3: Submit a blog post of your progress on your project by the end of the month. You are free to submit as many blog entries as you like until the beginning of the next theme.
Be sure to include video proof of your project!
Visit: Proving Science or tag your project blog ProvingScienceCH
You have until September 14th End of Day to submit your completed project!
A jury consisting of your peers will judge project submissions!
In the Comments Below: Let Us Know Your Proving Science Ideas!