Exploratorium EXNET Rental Group 1

Training in Oklahoma March 2005, at Omniplex

Here are Snacks and lessons which complement the exhibits in rental group 1.

Paul Doherty

Inquiry Activities

Minimag light Explorations

Finding Rays, look at a bright point source of light such as a minimag light with the reflector removed. Notice how the bulb is surrounded by rays. Locate these rays.

Minimag light afterimage, Stare straight ahead while you move a maglight in a 3D pattern in front of you. Notice the colorful 3D afterimage.

Pinhole in a Filmcan

See your Own Pupil, Make a pinhole in the bottom of a film can, look through the filmcan at a light while you cover and uncover our other eye. Notice how the pinhole seems to change size as your pupil changes size.

Pinholes 1 vs. 3, Make three closely spaced pinholes in the lid of a filmcan that has one pinhole in the base. Look through the one hole and the three holes seem right side up. Look through the three holes and you see three holes inverted and perverted.

Pin and Hole, use a pinhole in a film can to explore the inverted images on our retina.

Pairs of Mirrors

Mirror Pairs, Look at yourself in two square mirrors and notice how the images change as you change the angles between the mirrors.

Scan a Laser, trace the path of a laser as it bounces off one or two mirrors.


Wind Weather and Turbulence

Aeolian Landscape, rotate the fan, notice how the erosion and deposition of the white sand changes. Notice the avalanches.

Balancing Ball

Balancing Ball Snack, balance a ball on the airflow from a hairdryer.

Catenary Arch

Chaotic Pendulum

You can create your own Snack of this exhibit by buying a toy known as "Pendulum Man."

Chaotic Pendulum Exploration, discover the essence of chaos.

Circling Wave Umbrella, notice how the hole moves "through" the waves. Stop and restart the umbrella, how many waves are there in the pattern? Counting is difficult.

Cloud Rings, Allow time for fog to fill the chamber. Push down and hold down and launch one fog ring. Do it again and then launch a faster one a little later. Hold your hand over the holes to disrupt the pattern. Have children count down to synchronize their launch.

Settling Column, Observe the settling sediment when the column is vertical. Then again at 45 degrees.

Strange Attractor

Strange attractor Snack, use refrigerator magnets and a pendulum to make chaotic motion.

Streamlines, Tip the wings ton different angles of attack and observe the flow of air around the wing.

Turbulent Orb

Turbulent Orb Exploration

Illusion - Figure Ground

Angel Columns, the "angels" appear between the columns. The wings of the angels are invisible.

Changing Illusions

Illusions Package

Talking in Circles, back up and look at this one from a distance.


Vanna Snack

Illusions - Seeing Motion

Apparent Motion

Depth Spinner

Depth Spinner Snack

Disappearing Act

Disappearing Act Snack

Magic Wand

Magic Wand Snack


Silage Beach, Stand inside and stare straight ahead at the wall for 20 seconds then walk out through the curtains. How do you feel? Your eyes tell you you are rotating when you are inside the exhibit, your inner ear says you are stationary. A conflict between eye and inner ear can result from botulism poisoning and may result in nausea.

Strobe Fountain

Whirling Watcher


Convection Currents

Hyperbolic Slot

See the write-up in the Square Wheels Book

Mercator Your Face

Non-Round Rollers

Pendulums-Relative Motion, notice how the left right pendulum seems to move in a circle when you make the table oscillate away from you then toward you.

Square Wheels

Square Wheels Snack, A pdf file reprinted from the Square Wheels Book.


Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2003

5 May 2003