Technology – Flashlight

After making our three switches, we started a unit on making a switch, but a little more complicated! We learned information about the Thai soccer team and how one day their whole team went into a cave to play to celebrate a player’s birthday. However, it was the monsoon season, and soon it started to rain and the water level in the cave was slowly rising. The water was coming from the entrance, so the team kept on walking farther into the cave. They had been missing for a while, and they were really scared. Finally, divers found them, but there was a problem of how to get them out. The divers used flashlights to see in the dark. Now it was our turn to make flashlights that they would have used.

I decided to make a flashlight tilted at a 45 degree angle. It would have two pipes connected to two caps on each end. I started with cutting my pipes. I used a ruler to measure the length and marked it with a pencil, and then cut it with a saw.

After cutting my pipes, I began to work on my switch inside my flashlight. I got two black wires and one red wire, a light, a battery, and a switch. The battery was connected to the short black wire and the red wire. The short black wire connected to the switch, which was connected to the other black wire, which was connected to the light. Then the other end of the red wire was connected to the light, completing the switch. I had to solder all of these parts together, and make sure it worked (which it did!). Then, I put my switch inside my flashlight, and was ready to decorate the flashlight.

I decided I wanted my flashlight to be like a galaxy, so I took blue, purple, and black markers and got ready to color. I was able to sort of blend the colors, and from far away I think it looks pretty cool. It took me a while to color because I had a lot of white space and it was slow to blend different colors together, but eventually I finished and am proud of my work.

However, while I was coloring, I realized I need to take the switch out of the flashlight so that I wouldn’t color on the light or switch, so I tried opening it. All of a sudden, the switch broke, and I had to re-solder it back together, which was not fun. I decided to keep the switch out of the flashlight and wait until I was done.

This caused a problem later on, when I took my switch and flashlight out and later found the switch on the ground, broken (again!). I didn’t have time to fix it, so I asked a friend to help, and she was extremely kind and agreed to help me. Without her, I don’t know where I would be, so thanks so much Sophie!

After finishing all the parts, I put it together. I think it looks great. I am very proud of what I made (with Sophie’s help)!

Technology – Switches (Part 4)

I have all my materials ready, so I am ready to hot-glue everything and finish it!

For my first switch, I need to hot-glue my pieces of cardboard together onto the base. First I hot-glue the sides on the base, and connect it with my top. I use a straw and attach it to a rubber band with hot-glue, so that the popsicle stick can have resistance. I use the breadboard to make sure it all works, and it does!

For my second switch, I just need to glue a straw to the base and glue another straw to my popsicle stick. Then I use a rubber band to attach them together, and that’s it!

For my last switch, I need to hot-glue my cardboard sides that will keep my button in place. Then I hot-glue the pom-poms to the base, and glue my push button to the pom-poms. And this (thankfully) worked!

Finally, it is the day to play the game. I didn’t get to go, but someone else at my table did, and I got to be one of the people who flips the cards. The way to play was one player attached their switches to alligator clips, which was connected to lights that would go on and off when the player used their switch. Then there would be a deck of cards split in two piles, and a card would be flipped from each pile at a time by two people. If the card on the left is red and the other is black, then the obstacle would be on the right and the player would press their switch on the right. If the card on the left is black and the other is red, then the player would do the opposite, which is press their right switch. If both cards are red, then the player presses the switch in the middle. A person would time how fast the player is able to react to the cards.

After finishing this game, we were done with our unit. Although I didn’t get to play with my switches, it was still fun interacting and participating in the game, and I learned how to make three different working switches!

Technology – Switches (Part 3)

Finally after I was done with my second switch, I began to work on my third switch. At last! I decided to do a very simple switch because I was running out of time, so I decided to make a push button. A lot of people were making pushing switches, except they attached the push to a swing with rubber bands, because they needed some sort of resistance and a swing gives that. Their design was so that you had to push the swing down onto the base where there was tinfoil, and that’s how the switch worked. However, I wanted to make a different design. Instead of using rubber bands as resistance, I wanted to put my push button on something that would go up and down…. I thought for a while, thinking what could act as resistance. I was browsing through different materials, then I found what I was looking for! A pom-pom would be perfect! I cut out a piece of cardboard for the push button, and put two pom-poms on each end. Then, I used two pieces of cardboard on each side so the push button would stay in place. Finally I put tinfoil over the parts, and I was a ready to hot-glue everything together!

Technology – Switches (Part 2)

After I was finished with my first switch, I moved on to brainstorming my second switch. I wanted something you could slide across, so I designed a popsicle stick wrapped in tinfoil. I designed a rubber band that would be attached to the base and connected to the popsicle stick for resistance. Then I cut out a base, and covered it in tinfoil. I gathered my materials, so I was ready to hot-glue.

Technology – Switches (Part 1)

We started a unit on switches which was related to atoms and electricity. We would make three working switches to play a game. Each switch was supposed to be different, so I not only wanted to meet the expectations, but I also wanted to make three original switches. My first idea that came into mind was like a standard switch, and it would have a rubber band attached for resistance. I decided my switch would be inside a box. I began measuring out the proportions of the box, and used a popsicle stick for the switch, then I cut a hole in the box for the switch. Finally, I wrapped everything in tinfoil so that the switch would work. Then I before I hot-glued everything together, I tested this on a breadboard… and it worked!

I decided not to hot-glue it yet, because I wanted to hot-glue all my switches together.