“Awesome!!” were the exact words my electronics teacher said when I turned in this motor for a 250 point project, and I got all 250 points. Thanks!!
“Stan,I received the motor on Friday. It was very easy to put together!
The outreach activity is on July 16. I would like to use custom kit 2 with the battery holder. 130 students have said that they will come to the program, but they don’t usually all show up. It’s a two week program and my activity is toward the end.”
For the wire for the electromagnet, one of the undergraduate students stood with the spool of wire on a stick. Each girl took the end of the wire, walked to the other end of the room (it’s a large room), then walked back, winding the wire around her arm. One of the pictures shows the girls in line waiting for their turn.
Most of the motors worked. Here are the reasons why some of them didn’t work: Some of the girls weren’t careful enough when they aligned the rotor on the stands, so they had too much friction. A few of them got their wire tangled when they were winding the electromagnet, but they were tired of winding and didn’t want to start over, so their electromagnet wasn’t strong enough. They broke a few reed switches bending them too sharply (but we had plenty). And a few motors didn’t work because the girls hadn’t removed enough of the insulation from the lead wires to make the connections. (This one was easy to fix once the problem was found). Quite a few of them didn’t understand why they had to figure out which way to connect the circuit to get the magnets to repel. In some ways this was good, because when I was helping them fix the motor, I could explain more to them about how the motor worked. We talked the beginning before they started to put their motors together about how motors worked, but it went too quickly for them all to understand.”
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
… We also used your plans during summer school to make some pretty cool motors. My school principal is amazed that while these kiddos all read below the 3rd grade level, they still have the curiosity, drive, and cognitive abilities to problem solve and create things themselves. I have noticed an increased sense of pride and self esteem as they bring their creations to life.I found it of great use last year in my class, and it’s interesting to note that I am starting a new “hands on” introduction to motors, wiring, and electricity with my 8th grade special education class this very next Monday!
My students are VERY low functioning academically. All have severe behavioral issues and most have additional learning disabilities as well. The fact that they did all of the work, and then problem solved independently when things didn’t turn out as we had theorized was an outstanding lesson for them!
Thanks again for letting me know about your site and creations. They are a definite asset and valuable resource to my classroom.
Tom Clark, Jr.
Motivational Achievement Center
I have been thinking about a “capstone” project for my course for a while and found your site just browsing the web. It was much, much better than anything else I had found.Stan, thanks so much for all your help and for the fantastic motors! They are awesome. I couldn’t believe how fast they ran and how powerful they were. The kids were really excited about the motors and how they worked. They had a bit of trouble with the concept of the magnetic switch, but we did a demo using a magnet, battery, and light bulb that showed them how it worked. Winding the electromagnetic was hard for the smaller kids (9-10) – they got bored, but they all managed it.
P.S. In my “real” life I’m a chemistry professor (physical biochemist) and own a hardware-software development business. But, for fun, and to continue my education, I teach science summer camp for my wife’s school (Steppingstone).
Steppingstone Center for the Potentially Gifted
Farmington Hills, Michigan
I am a computer teacher at an elementary school right now (I have 20 years of experience with computers from my electrical engineering work) and I am teaching electricity in science class to our fifth graders. I will definitely be using your motor kits and web site during my instruction in April and May, 2001. I will be teaching electricity again to the 5th graders here at Tate’s School of Discovery.
Mrs. Rebecca Preston
Tate’s School of Discovery
We are having success with your motors. It is so nice to run a two week unit that works so well.
Shrewsbury High School
Stan,Excellent job. I’m a physics teacher in Minnesota and I’m having my 8th graders design their own motor. We’ll use your site as a reference.
Stan,I am still interested in the kits. I am interested in the most complete kits. We plan to use them in our pre-college engineering program as a family engineering event. Each family will take home a kit and construct the project.
Joy J. Vann-Hamilton
Director, Minority Engineering Program
University of Notre Dame
As a teacher of Industrial Arts in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia this project is just what I have been looking for as a basis for a design exercise for my 13 -14 year old students.
I’m a chemist in the Health Care business area of 3M. One volunteer employee-run activity that the company supports is called the Visiting Wizards program, in which employees (mostly but not necessarily the technical staff) have assembled various portable kits of science demonstrations that can be taken to classrooms, Scout functions, and the like to demonstrate and teach science to young students, mostly of grade-school age. A colleague and I built up a kit on basic electricity concepts, starting with the notion of conductivity, circuits, switches, parallel and series configurations, and eventually leading to electromagnets and motors. We assembled one of your motors as part of the demonstration and refer interested students to your web site.Your new site is very well done. The new motors are a good addition, and your explanations are clear. The site should be even more useful to beginners, as a source of both information and kits.
My name is Charles Rogers. I own a Training Consulting Company located in New Braunfels Texas. I write training material and do on site training for industrial facilities. I am currently writing lab exercises for Lincoln Learning Institute in New Jersey to be used in their electrical apprenticeship training program.One of the lab exercises I am writing relates to the fundamentals of DC motors. I have written the lab exercise around the students using your Kit#1 to build a simple DC motor.
New Braunfels Texas
I like your motor design and its operation. Your descriptions are easy to read and easy to understand. I teach Basic DC and Basic AC Theory for the Navy’s Advanced Electronics Technical Core at Great Lakes Naval Base, Illinois. You’ve given me some new ideas for different approaches to an old subject. Thank You!
Just wanted to let you know that I completed assembling your motor kit over the weekend. It worked as advertised. It will be a great addition to my Boy Scout electricity merit badge stuff.
I work in a New Zealand primary school tutoring children in technology. I found your website on a web search for basic electronics projects. Although freight costs and the US dollar exchange rate rules out purchasing your kitsets for our children, I have to take this opportunity to express my admiration for your ideas and products. Your website is excellent, well laid out and full of fascinating stuff. I have bookmarked it for the kids and I am sure that I am going to be inundated with requests for help in building some of these motors. If you carry on with this sort of work you will be doing all of us a great favour! Best regards.
Rotorua, New Zealand
SERGE-IT’S WORKING LIKE YOU SAID IT WOULD!! LITTLE BIO- I’M 82, LIMITED VISION FROM A STROKE 8 YRS AGO, TRIPLE BY-PASS 3 YRS AGO.
* Bob Durbin, who makes “impossible bottles” and other puzzles – look at couple reed switch motors he made: GOLF BALLS GO ROUND, PEPSI CAN MOTOR with dwarf hamster inside 🙂
Stan,Your plans are great, my boy & I built your motor from scratch & I’d like to send you a picture of it.
The motor was a big hit in my boy Garrett’s 9th grade science class today.
Serge,Below is a motor I made. Coil is 646 feet of 26 Ga. wire wrapped on a soft-iron rod. 10 magnets on the Rotor. Controlled by a reed switch at such an angle to keep a steady 4ma almost throughout the life of the D-cell. 1 D-cell lasts about 6 months continuous running.
Stan,The motor I got from you was such a hit at work. There was a bunch of nerdy engineers, including me, playing with a simple motor. It was great.
I couldn’t be happier. I was amazed to learn that he who developed this motor was in 9th grade. I assembled it just today. It runs just fine, although somewhat out of balance. It has been a joy to build. I’m an adult just getting into electronics as a hobby and I thought this would be a fine lesson. That it has been. ALSO, Thank you for sending the kit so promptly as promised.
As a Science educator I found this web site quite refreshing and wish you luck in your endeavors. My students are hooked on your Motors and plan to build one in their science fair this spring 2002. I found the info excellent and easy to follow. My students think you rule!
Andrea E. Oliver
K-12 Special Education Science educator.
… We received the motor on Sat. 1/22 and by Sunday evening had it running. It’s an amazing little motor and my son has enjoyed assembling it and learning how it works.
Mark A. Montgomery
Facilities Services Engineering Dept. / Chief Engineer
Riverside Medical Center
Retired science teacher…am impressed…and want to build one. After I get caught up with all of my housework and yardwork…this will make a wonderful rainy day thing to do. Thanks for your clear diagrams.
Susan A. Bondurant
Hello. My name is Donald Johnson. I am a science teacher in Detroit, Michigan. I am very impressed with your site and the work that you put into your projects. I plan to use your site to inspire my science fair students to greatness. Keep up the good work and I know you will have a wonderful life!
Just want to thank you again for the reed switches. I made four kits that my 11 year old son Nathan and three friends built at his birthday party. I wish I had a digital camera so you could see the materials used — mostly corks from wine bottles! Really…corks glued to a board for the vertical bearing supports, cork for the rotor, cork as the reed switch holder (glued to a heavy bolt-head for a movable base) and cork for the magnet stand (again, with a bolt-head as a base).You should have seen four 11 year old boys at the kitchen table, motors whirring!
I used spare 12vdc power supplies instead of batteries. To burn off extra watts we put a 6vdc flashlight bulb in the circuit, which added a positive reed-switch state indicator!
Anyway, thanks again.
I got a real kick out of your website. I built a moving armature DC motor with brushes as a Science Fair project when I was a 4th grader in Mt. Pleasant, TX. That was back in 1957. As I recall the instructions came from a Cub Scout project book. I’m an electrical engineer now living in Los Angeles. Thanks for the enjoyable trip down memory lane.
As a Vo-Tech instructor I am always looking for ways that my students can understand the items that we deal with on a daily basis. Motors are an important part of any HVAC technicians job in troubleshooting etc. You have just made my lesson plans concerning this vital subject much more interesting for my students. Thank you
I am an instructor at Vinal Vocational Technical High School, Middletown, CT and was led to this site by the HVAC Dept Manager
It´s a very good idea, to present in a school project, I and a friend built us a simple electric motor, thanks:
Bernardo Cueva, from Ecuador
Our family has enjoyed working on this project together. We have learned so much. We home school. Our Science Fair is March 20. My daughter will be entering the electric motor. She loves this project. You have really challenged her on this. She is in the 5th grade, so to complete this project she has really had to dig in and want to learn. Thank you for your willingness to teach others.
The Rowan Family
I have built 4 DC motors with my boys and yours looks like the best. You are correct – the brushes are very difficult.
My daughter participated in her school Science Fair last night and she won 1st place (4th grade). She made the homemade version and it worked wonderful. She also learned a lot in the process which was the most important part. Your instructions and illustrations were very clear but we still encountered some problems. The reed switch current rating was not specified nor was the gauge of the wire for the nail. We fried a few reed switches which was probably due to the low current rating of the reed switch. We also used the wrong gauge of wire and it wouldn’t work for nothing until we used a thinner wire which allowed more turns on the nail.Thank you so much for your plans. (I had as much fun as my daughter!)
Stan, your motor is very impressive. I like to make things like this, and show them to kids I come in contact with, so they can learn how things around them work. I volunteer at a local museum, and teach kids how to make a Crystal Radio out of household items.
Lawrence A. Pizzella
Very impressive. Building a motor in my circuits class. I am a senior in Industrial engineering.
We are two 5th graders. We built the motor and learned quite a bit. We got a first prize at our school fair and are going to present it at our district fair tomorrow.