Spouting Off in the Classroom


photo-copy-21The Chinese Spouting Bowl

by: Ted Beyer

When we are at one of the many educational shows we attend each year, teachers often ask what our favorite products are. I always point at two items – our eddy current materials (here’s that post!) and The Chinese Spouting Bowl. When I mention the bowl, invariably I hear – “yeah, I have seen that in the catalog – does it really work?” The simple answer is yes, yes it does. It not only works, it is amazing to see work, not that hard to make work, and most importantly, it can also be a powerful teaching tool. In fact, the Chinese Spouting Bowl is an ancient and fascinating object that can bring many different science scientific principals into the classroom in an unexpected way.Spouting Bowl 2

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Coupled Pendulums with Video


by:  Martin Sagendorf

One Pendulum…

Is interesting, but…

Two Pendulums…

Are much more interesting.

 But only if they are coupled pendulums.

Coupled Pendulums

An Easy Way Is To…

Couple them at their pivot points.  This is accomplished by hanging the two pendulums from a horizontal string.

Coupled Pendulums

There Are…

Many illustrations of coupled pendulums on the web; search for ‘coupled pendulums’ – but the fine points of making a really successful demo are rarely discussed… so before we start: Read the rest of this entry »


Chladni Plates


Martin Sagendorfby:  Martin Sagendorf

An Odd Name: They’re named for the German physicist Ernest Chladni who popularized them in the mid-1700s.  His name is pronounced: kläd’nêz.

Chladni Plates are: Thin plates (sprinkled with fine particles) vibrated perpendicular to their plane.

How? – Then and Now: Long ago Chladni used a cello bow to excite the edge of a thin metal or wooden plate.  Today, we can use an oscillator, amplifier, and an electro-mechanical oscillator.  We have a great advantage, we can easily vary the frequency of excitation thereby providing a whole vista of experimentation.

A 17 in. x 14 in. Chladni Plate in guitar shape at 200 Hz

Chladni Plate Read the rest of this entry »