Dimensions: 3 feet by 3 feet by ~24 inches high
Description: This exhibit was constructed from a bicycle (which can still be seen underneath if the exhibit is lifted). For each visitor, a new piece of paper is attached to the painting platform with alligator clips. Visitors may either squirt paint prior to turning the crank (what used to be the bicycle pedal) to cause the painting platform to spin rapidly, or start the paper spinning and then add paint as it spins. When they are done, they squeeze the hand-brake to stop the spinning and see what paint and centripetal force has created. They are always surprised! The paint is not only different colors, but each color is a different viscosity.
Concept: This exhibit takes advantage of the physics of rotation – the paint near the center moved very little and that near the edges is pushed away from the center. Additionally, different viscosities of paint move at different speeds. Although very simple in concept, when tested with local 7th and 8th graders, it was very popular. Each of the students reported that they were surprised by the motion of the paint (that it moved AT ALL). It became apparent that the toys and hands-on experiences with which many of us grew up are missing in today’s youth.