Atal Tinkering Labs ATL


NASA’s BEST — Introduction

Don Higdon explains why NASA needs engineers and discusses the purpose of the engineering design process video series created for NASA BEST. He lists the steps in the Boston Museum of Science engineering design process — ask, imagine, plan, create, experiment and improve. He concludes by showing a simple hands-on experiment for students.  

Toy from Trash – Oriya

This is not a “storm in a teacup” but a tornado in a bottle. Tape two bottle lids back-to-back and make a through hole. Screw two big bottles on the lids. The lower bottle should be filled with water. Upturn and give the bottles a circular shake. A tornado will swirl and spin giving you a feel for a real tornado.  

Toy from Trash – Tajik

This traditional Indian toy demonstrates Centrifugal Force. It can be made by the poorest child. All you need is a broomstick, some thread and an eraser. Tie a big and small stick together and poke the rubber to make it heavy. Perch the toy on your index finger and spin it away to glory!  

Toy from Trash – Japanese

At the heart of this Japanese lantern is a bulb in a cylindrical pivoted box. Hot air from the bulb while escaping pushes against the blades. This makes the box spin. As the box spins the pictures on it cast their beautiful shadows on the fixed cylinder. You will see a very beautiful shadow play of images.  

Toy from Trash – Spanish

The Talking Frog is a very dynamic paper toy and can be made with a paper square. The frog has a fixed jaw and a moving jaw which is operated by a stiff paper strip tucked in it. Make eyes and decorate the frog. Now gently hold the frog with one hand and push-pull the strip. The frog will move its jaw and will appear to be talking.  


For this multiple generator you need 5 strong neodymium magnets, 5 insulated thin copper wire coils with 1000 turns and 5 LEDs. Place 5 modules with each coil attached to one LED on a wooden base. In the center is a vertical pivot. A CD with 5 strong magnets can spin on this pivot. The gap between the magnets and the coils is about 2-3mm. As you rotate the CD the moving magnetic field creates an EMF and all the LEDs light up brightly!  

Toy from Trash – Telugu

Instead of a permanent magnet this motor has an electromagnet which is made by winding insulated copper wire on a sewing machine bobbin. Its spinning coil is made out a meter long insulated copper wire. On one end the entire insulation is scraped. On the other only 3-sides are scraped. The remaining insulation forms an ON/OFF switch. A 1.5-volt battery is sufficient to run this splendid motor.  

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