The Mini Maker Faire at Barnes and Noble this past weekend was a success! Students in grades K-5 all had their hands on Einstein’s Wave Machine in some way. In addition to this time machine, we showcased the fourth and fifth graders’ shoe prototypes. People who stopped by our table were fascinated by what JCDSRI is up to in the design lab.
In order to make the time machine, we started by studying Einstein’s theory of time travel. Einstein thought time was an illusion, and that it depends on the speed you are traveling through space: “Einstein’s theory of special relativity says that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you move relative to something else. Approaching the speed of light, a person inside a spaceship would age much slower than his twin at home.” (Howell, 2013)
Children in grades K-5 partook in the effort to make a time machine. “Well, actually… no one has ever traveled faster than the speed of light!” multiple students pointed out. Instead, we used the design process to answer the question: How might we build a time machine that connects our knowledge of the design process with Einstein’s theory of time travel?
Students built a prototype that was exactly ¼ of the actual size of the wave machine. Prototyping is an imperative (and our favorite) phase of the design process. Next, students transferred everything from the prototype to the large cardboard, measured, cut, and painted. Then, we added 3D features, a pendulum, and lights. This project was also eco-friendly, in that we used solar power for the lights along with battery power and circuitry. This allowed students to connect science concepts, theoretical reasoning, circuitry, mathematics, art, and design concepts while solving the design challenge.
Congratulations to JCDSRI for being the only elementary school invited to the Mini Maker Faire of 2015! Be on the lookout for the time machine in the future, because Mr. Tilove has a master plan.