Monday, December 18, 2006

Fifth Meeting: Dry Ice, Smashing a Monitor, Rocket Car and Feedback

Hiya y'all. Thanks for coming on Friday, if you did. It was fun. :) (Last meeting of 2006, too!) Vivek's going to try to get those videos online sometime in the near future.

We started off with some dry ice bombs. Our first one appeared to be a dud, which was a bit scary because you just know that the moment you give up and go to pick it up it'll blow up in your face. Fortunately, that didn't happen. :)

We had several more successful dry ice bombs after that. We also tried burning flour and making bottles of hairspray into flamethrowers and so on. But the real fun was just beginning. (If you've come a lot you'll notice that our meetings tend to start off slow and really pick up towards the end.)

Michael Firer had donated an old broken PC monitor for us to, uh, break even more. At first we tried using the potato gun, but we only got one glancing shot in and then the potato gun decided to, well, stop working. So naturally, we took the biggest, heaviest metal pole we could find, and just smashed it. A lot. Over and over and over again. We tried putting some dry ice bombs inside, but that didn't work so well.

Finally, we decided to re-try a rocket car, since the rocket dune-buggy went a total of, um, 5 feet? Brenden Hickey had recently participated in a 9th Grade Physics Class mousetrap car competition. Obviously, a rocket engine provides a bit more thrust than the spring of a mousetrap. So we strapped on four. You'll have to wait for the video to see just what happened, but suffice it to say it was spectacular. :)

Now for a few thanks:

- Mr. McKinney, for getting the dry ice for us
- Vivek for filming everything
- Michael Firer for donating his old PC monitor, poor thing
- Everyone who cleaned up the remains of said monitor
- Ms. Nickerson, Peter, and Vivek for doing extra cleanup
- Brendan Hickey for donating his car & David Arbeiter for spiffing it up with a few nice rocket engines
- And whoever took attendance at the LAST meeting, not this one (I know, the thanks are kind of late)

And now for some feedback. So far this year in the club we've done all sorts of things, but we haven't really put a lot of time into any single project. What does everyone think about that? We don't want to go too slowly, because then it gets boring. But we don't want to go too fast, because then we can never do any big projects. I feel like we might be rushing through things a bit too much at the moment.

So: is there any project people want to spend some more time on? If you don't want to answer this little mini-survey you don't have to, but we'd love to get people's input. We're open to ANYTHING. So: what do you want to do? Rank the following from first (you really want to do it) to last (you couldn't care less):

- Hovercraft (big project)
- Egg Launch Contest (big project - try to launch eggs in rockets and return them to the ground unharmed)
- Model Car Contest (compete for fastest, farthest distance, etc.)
- Glider/Model Plane/Flying Things Contest (longest flight time, fastest, highest, etc.)
- Building Circuits
- Rube Goldberg Machines Contest (you know--the ball rolls down the ramp and starts the dominos, the dominos trip a wire that releases a bowling ball, the bowling ball knocks over a vase that yanks a weight off a table, the weight falls on a button that launches a rocket - that sort of thing)
- More Coke & Mentos
- More Dry Ice
- More shooting the potato gun at stuff
- More rockets

Any other comments? Anything else you'd like to add to the list?

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