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Behind the Scenes: Testing Gadgets for CityScience Programs


Before CityScience introduces new projects to the students in its programs, we test them to make sure that they are not only fun and educational but also functional!

The homemade fans above, for example, were originally used to see if handmade skyscrapers could withstand the “weather.” Because the kids loved the fans (and because they seemed to work well), they had a chance to make their own at a recent CityScience session at Win, an amazing nonprofit organization that strives to break the cycle of homelessness for women and their children.

In the video below, CityScience intern Seán McLoughlin tests a homopolar motor, which is made up of three parts: a battery, some neodymium magnets, and a piece of copper wire.

“The magnets are connected to the base of the battery—they stick together due to magnetic attraction,” says Seán. “When the wire makes contact with the terminals of the battery, a circuit is completed and a current runs through the wire. The strong magnetic field of the magnets exerts a force on the wire when there is current running through it, causing the wire to spin.”

Check back soon for more updates on what’s going on behind the scenes at CityScience!

Published in General NewsSnapshots • Published on March 30, 2016

We want to prepare
100,000 new teachers in
the fields of STEM.
Barack Obama State of the Union Address, 2011