A Tricky Motor

I spent some time last week helping a third grade class with science projects. One group was trying to power a small electric fan with a cell made from an aluminium can and a copper sheet in salt water. Needless to say, it wasn’t working very well. They were able to produce about one tenth the minimal current needed to turn the motor.

2014-06-09 12.57.40

To alleviate the suffering, I built a new motor. This one has a battery inside. The transistor turns the motor (powered by the battery) on when a potential difference is placed between the two leads. It’s cheating — and I’m not sure whether it was a good idea. But at least the team were able to present their work at the science fair.

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