From June 30th Space Cowboys count down


I rec’d my e-tickets today for my flight out to Houston. Yesterday I went to PPPL to work on our experiment. Now I know what the kids feel like… what, you don’t understand the directions?I met up w/ 3 of the 4 other teachers. 2 of the 3 needed to pass GET, BES and some other basic training to work at PPPL. So that left myself and one other teacher to work on our project.At some point I felt like dumb and dumber. We were put at a lab desk, supplies and pretty much explained to us what to do then by our mentor, who shall be known from this time forward as The Sheriff. So The Sheriff leaves us to do what we have to do. So what do we have to do…. build a box to hold our experiments… seems simple. NOT.

I purchased my cowboy/girl hat at Walmart.

I digress.

The Deputies, the teachers, are working on what The Sheriff said to do. Measure 2x, cut once. We need to put the sides of the bubble experiment’s box together.

Our experiment was approved by NASA (Final TEDP). I digress again.

Found the schematic, there is hope!

Our box sides are made of plexiglass. How many sides of a box? No, wait, how many edges? We need brackets for each edge. Oh but we need to cut down on weight. Ok, so the bracket edges don’t need to be as long as each side. Ok, remeasure and re-mark the brackets. Done. Hacksaw… gloves AND goggles before we start cutting. 10 brackets, we may be here a while.

To the rescue is an engineer who can use the bandsaw to cut for us. Thank goodness.

Lunch time, I digress. We all met up for lunch to work on the afternoon strategy. Do you know how good the food is at the PPPL cafe?

Ok, Deputy One works on making the drill holes for the box and brackets. Hey let’s use the drill press! Oh wait we aren’t trained to use it. Rats. Ok, find someone who is…. done. Holes, done.

I worked on the t-shirt design. BTW a very important job.  Found some great clip art, and well let’s just say…. my job is almost done.

Deputy Two and Three, they worked on the camera. High res 1000 frames per sec. Wow, can you imagine the manual for that puppy! Lighting, speed, zoom. I think there might be a doctoral degree in working that camera.

Finally, the wee wee pads. We needed to make sure whatever amount of bubble mixture could spill, would be sopped up by the absorbing material on the bottom, hence wee wee pads. 2 pads hold better than one. Had to be cut to size. Ok. that is done.

Today two Deputies were working in the lab. I’m hoping the notes we kept in the lab journal are enough so that if Deputy Four came in he could read it.

I go back on Wednesday to help make the bubble formula and start making bubbles. BTW, do you know how hard it is to find a bubble gun?

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About Hillyer

I'm a passionate 7th grade science teacher looking to inspire others.
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