4th, 5th (c)

Eli Whitney Museum

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Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura thumbnail

A complete light laboratory in a box. Construct a box that captures and focuses images. Use it as a camera obscura...an artist's drawing tool. Or make it into a model of the eye. Then rearrange the elements. Direct a light source on an image inside the box to project the image into a darkened room – recreate one of Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest leaps of invention: a projector.

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Light: Quicker than the Eye


Scientists and artists want to understand how the eye and brain work together. This device lets you spin patterns at controlled speeds. Blend images. Trick your eye into seeing colors where there are none. Make columns wobble in 3D after the artist Duchamp. Animate birds. Create your own illusions.

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Violin thumbnail

Construct a two string instrument and a bow. Devise experiments to modify pitch and tone and volume. Consider the variables of materials, tension, touch and your own dexterity... all experiments measured by ear.

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Robot Drum


Construct a music machine. Hear the logic of Leonardo's mind at work as he invents the first modern robot, an automatic drummer whose rhythms can be reprogrammed flexibly and whose tempos adjust automatically. Invent your own cadences.

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Solar System Model - the Orrery

Solar System Model - the Orrery thumbnail

Models organize big ideas for scientists and students; they identify and test questions and are ideal tools for thinking. The Earth/Moon Rotation orrery shows our planetary movement around the sun and demonstrates lunar orbit and moon phases when illuminated with an accompanying light.

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