Steve from Big Mess o’ Wires diatribes his analysis of building a more effective Scribbling Machine for kids.
For the past three years, I’ve led groups of children through a scribbling machine construction project at our school’s annual Discovery Day event. Take a motor with an offset weight on its shaft, attach it to some kind of tripod with colored pens for legs, and add 25 third graders. The offset weight makes the machine vibrate unpredictably, drawing patterns on the paper beneath it as it moves. Every time I’ve done this project, it’s been lots of fun.
Kids, motors, and pens – what could go wrong? Quite a lot, as it turns out.
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