Hangout with an Inventor (and Build Some Cool Stuff!)

Did you miss our G+ Hangout with a National Geographic inventor? Watch our video, then check out TH Culhane’s blog for detailed instructions on how to make your own motor and generator!

What could you make with a scouring pad, a paper towel, drain cleaner, and an aluminum can tab?

How about enough electricity to power a flashlight?

Join us for our next Google+ Hangout with NG Explorer and Google Science Fair judge TH Culhane at his laboratory in Germany for a do-it-yourself build-along event! In support of Girlstart’s DeSTEMber focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we’re building an electric motor, a lemon battery, and a soda can tab that produces electricity with materials mostly found at home. The best part? You can build along with TH!

Here is the list of what you will need to get beforehand:

Safety First… Gloves and goggles!

1. Super Simple Electric Motor

C cell battery (any battery will do, AA, or AAA or D, but C is easy to hold)
A dry wall screw
A round neodymium magnet (get the big one, splurge, they only cost 3 bucks but they spin better)
A piece of wire

2. Lemon Battery

A penny (for copper)
A nail (for zinc)
Alligator clips
Various low voltage LEDs
A voltmeter

3. Joule Thief

A Blue or White LED (Other colors are fine, too)
2N3904 Transistor or equivalent
1k Resistor (Brown-Black-Red)
Toroid Bead
Thin wire, two colors (magnet wire works, .6mm)
Alligator clips and/or a breadboard

4. Electricity From a Soda Can Tab

Aluminum can tab (or aluminum foil)
Stainless steel scouring pad
A paper towel or a thin cleaning sponge to separate the stainless steel and the aluminum
Some drain cleaner


Changing Planet