Aquila Children's Magazine The Electric Issue - Page 8

BUILD A MOTORISED THAUMATROPE

A thaumatrope is a scientific toy . Popular in the Victorian era , it ’ s made up of a disc with a different image on either side . As the disc is rotated , the two images combine to make one . Well , they don ’ t actually combine , our eyes do the magic through something called the persistence of vision . We had loads of fun building this motorised version . It does require adult supervision though , because it involves an electrical current and some parts of the copper wire can become very hot .
YOU WILL NEED
� A helpful adult
� Insulated copper wire ( we used 24 gauge )
� Scissors
� 1 ‘ D ’ battery
� Sandpaper
� Permanent marker pen
� Modelling clay
� Block of wood
� 2 paper clips
� Strong elastic bands
� Pencil
� Paper
� Fineline pen
� Colouring pencils
� Compass or sharp point
� Magnet ( these can be purchased at an electrical retailer or hardware store )
MAKE THE ROTOR
Take

1 approximately 1.5 m of insulated copper wire , wrap it around the battery at least 10 times to make a coil .

Take the ends and

2 knot them off , so you re left with a ring suspended equally between two wires . Make sure it is centred .

Cut the stray

3 ends of the wire so you have about 3 cm on each end .

4 Take the

sandpaper and sand the end of each wire to remove the insulation .
With a permanent

5 pen , colour one side of one end . This will re-insulate that section of wire .

BUILD THE DC MOTOR
Take two small blobs of modelling

6 clay and stick it to the block of wood . Place the battery on top .

Unfurl two

7 paper clips to form two ‘ L ’ shapes . Take your pliers and bend the top of each ‘ L ’ to form loops .

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Wrap your elastic bands around the battery , then tuck an unfurled paper clip into each end .