Barbara Brink Internship: Week Three
My third week at Science World has been a blur. Although I have settled into a routine, I am still continuously learning new things. This week, I had the opportunity to assist with the Summer Camp Showcase, provide orientation for field trip groups, and handle Striker the snake. Every day is exciting and refreshing!
For one of my projects this summer, I am responsible for composing a report for Science World's homopolar motor activity, which will support future facilitators in operating the workshop. The task requires extensive background research and on-site testing. My main objective is to devise variables and guiding questions that will encourage visitors to explore in a hands-on manner.
To prototype the homopolar motors activity, I led tinkering workshops on Thursday and Friday. The motor is a simplistic contraption. However, it introduces numerous scientific concepts. It demonstrates the properties and effects of magnetic fields, current, torque, the Lorentz force, chemical and kinetic energy, etc. During the workshops, I loved gauging the various visitor responses as they engaged in constructing their own motors. The activity challenged both children and adults to troubleshoot and problem-solve. As a result, it was always rewarding to witness the animation and wonder of participants when their homopolar motors begin to turn for the first time. The process of facilitation allowed me to develop techniques in directing observations and prompting experimentation. I am confident that this activity has the potential to foster a sense of curiosity within visitors and provide a way for them to investigate their inquiries.
My second internship project focuses on exploring the Arduino. Frankly, the Arduino is perfect for a programming novice like me. I have always hoped to investigate both hardware and software projects, and now, at Science World, I am provided with the time and resources to learn till my heart’s content. My goal is to develop applications for introductory Arduino and Micro:bit programs over the course of my internship. With a stash of breadboards, sensors, and motors, I will be striving to create engaging projects for the Future Science Leaders program. Over this week, I have been researching Arduino projects, building circuits, and learning programming syntax. When I learned that I had the chance to mix LED colours through RGB LEDs and Arduino programming — my dramatic burst of excitement was probably comical.
"Time flies when you’re having fun”. On Sunday evening, I realized that a quarter of my internship has already flown by. Didn't I just get here? Over the upcoming weeks, I hope to focus more upon my Arduino project development. The notion is daunting. Having witnessed the astounding presentation of past interns and the mounds of tasks ahead of me, I am learning to find confidence in both my projects and myself.