A couple of days ago two fifteen year olds visited the Museum. They approached me in the MAKESHOP and asked if they could make something. Their plan was to make an electric-powered car. They explained to me that they had about three hours to spend at the Museum and they really wanted to spend that entire time in the MAKESHOP so that they could make something. So, we began a journey that would be filled with mistakes… luckily they were fun mistakes…
We worked on what would become the first version of our project. This was simply modifying a wooden car that has been lying around the MAKESHOP for a couple of weeks. We attempted to fit a motor and gears together to power the car. We eventually got the motor and gears to spin the wheels but there was far too much weight and friction for the car to move when placed on the ground.
The great thing about these two teenagers was that they didn’t let this blunder bother them. In fact, this mistake with the first car inspired them to begin creating another version of their idea. They started building a new car out of an old block of foam. They decided to use a system of pulleys and a motor to power this car. At this point, I left the two of them on their own to see what they could come up with.
About an hour later, I witnessed that little foam block with wheels drive across the floor of the shop.