This page (http://www.ce.cmu.edu/~sfinger/eyh/) is no longer available
at Carnegie Mellon University server. This is an identical copy of it stored on
our web site.
Engineering Your Future
As part of
the Engineering Your Future program at Carnegie Mellon University, high school
girls spent a day building battery-powered DC motors. After a short discussion about
current, magnets, motors and
generators, each girl got a kit containing the parts for her motor.
The kits were made by an 8th grader in Texas
who did a prize-winning science project about motors.
For more information on the motors (and how to get a kit for
yourself), see his web
The high school girls worked in teams
so that they could help each other out.
They they built a rotor with two permanent magnets on it, and they made an electromagnet
by winding copper wire around a large nail.
Connecting the electromagnet through the
reed switch to the battery was the most difficult part.
Some of the motors worked the first time,
but a lot had to be checked for loose connections, friction in the rotor, and
weak electromagnets. Each girl got to take her motor home with her.
Assembling the Rotors
Coiling the Wire for the Electromagnet
Assembling the Reed Switch
Closing the Circuit