Monday, March 4, 2013

It's Electrifying!

So much going on around here, I just can't seem to find time to share. Lots of sewing madness, school projects and March Break trip planning.

If you follow Poppyprint in Instagram you may have seen a few photos of my son T preparing his Gr. 10 Personal Project for school. My kids attend a public high school that runs teaches an International Baccalaureate program. In Gr. 10 there is a requirement that each student complete a self-directed learning discovery. They can choose any subject, activity or project they like as long as they document their learning in a process journal, a 1500 word essay and ultimately a showcase one evening at school.

Some students made snowboarding videos. Several learned how to play a new instrument. One girl perfected the souffle. My son made homemade lightening.

Behold, his 12,000 volt Tesla Coil in action.

Yes, that is a compact fluorescent bulb on the end of a wooden pole illuminated by the electricity in the air at the end of the video!

We are super proud! This was not a simple "watch a YouTube video and get instructions off the internet" project. He has spent hours and hours and hours of his weekends researching, acquiring parts, building the structure, soldering the capacitors, winding the copper wire primary and secondary coils and learning the electrics. We are lucky to have some engineer friends who confirmed safety requirements (phew!) and a plumber who helped with wholesale parts.  T purchased the transformer off eBay from a guy in Texas! He was able to use equipment in the school wood shop to cut a lot of his supports (thank you IKEA cutting boards). It was great to see the enthusiasm of the adult friends and teachers who supported him over the past 6 months. I must admit I had doubts at times - it just seemed so daunting. His stick-to-it-iveness is truly inspiring. He already has plans for a Tesla machine that fires to music!

As for me: I made a Weekender bag. Go mom! (more on that later)

21 comments:

Katy Cameron said...

Och I'm sure we can put your bag up in lights too, just not quite such exciting lights :oD

paulette said...

WOW!! That's amazing!! Good for him...I predict some great things happening in his future!!
P

Patti said...

Very cool! Way to go T!
As for you....A WEEKENDER!!!eeek!

sewtakeahike said...

That's super cool! Your young man has vision, that's for sure!

karen @ badlandsquilts said...

Impressive! Future engineer for sure!

Ginette said...

That is awesome! Love seeing young people so pationate about something.

felicity said...

Holy crap. That's amazing!

ayumills said...

You must be so proud of him! It is such a great memorable project for him!

Leanne said...

That is so cool, you must be so proud of him.

Dianne said...

Very cool project and an excellent result! For a second I thought the lightbulb was a UFO, how cool would that be? Light up the Tesla Coil and attract an alien!!!!
Your accomplishment was no less monumental (speaking as a fellow WB creator)there should be medals for people who make those bags!!

trudys_person said...

Wow! That kid is going places! I'm sure you are very proud!

traceyjay said...

I love your kids Krista... I hope mine grow up to be as cool as yours. :)

Jo Ann said...

So cool I showed everyine how cool and amazing T 's project is!

Barbie Mills said...

Such dedication! I'm very impressed. What a cool project choice.
The light bulb is pretty amazing.

Katie said...

Um WOW! That was so cool! He did such a great job!
On another note, I went to an IB school. Honestly I have no idea how I even got into the program...

Elsa said...

What a great project and the support he got is wonderful ~ always impressed with creative kids!

verykerryberry said...

I physically jumped- I kid you not!

Kristie said...

So, so cool!! Way to go, T! Love his tenacity.

Krista said...

This is so cool!!! I'm totally going to have to show this to Avery and Claire. Nice work, T.

Christelle said...

When we were in the States both of my girls were in the IB program, it was a lot of work but they had fun also with the persoal project.
Congrat to your son he did a great project!

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is super impressive! Every time I see the word capacitor, I think of the "flux capacitor" in Back to the Future.