Try this at home!
Take part in Geevor's NSEW event at home. Make your own waterwheel powered optical illusion out of scrap found at home. Email or send us photos of your wheel to receive a NSEW certificate.
You will need:
Scrap (plastic containers and tetra pack are good), scissors, strong tape, wooden barbecue skewers. Younger children will need adults to help with scissors, making holes and tape.
To make the wheel for your water wheel you need a circular piece of scrap (a lid, cheese triangle box or the bottom cut of a bottle all work well).
Your wheel needs paddles for the water to hit. The simplest way of making them is to cut out notches into the edge of your wheel. If you are using the bottom of a bottle, you may find that it has nobbly bits on, if so these will be your paddles. If you are using the lid of a cardboard cheese box you can made diagonal cuts and they fold them back to make the paddles.
To make your stand you need something tall. A bottle or juice tetra pack works well and can be filled with water later to make it extra stable.
You need to make 2 holes in your stand frount and back at the same hight. You can make this by pushing the scewer in or using scissors. Be careful! The holes need to we widened to fit the scewer so it can turn easily.
A barbeque skewer needs to cut about 4cm longer that the width of the stand so that it will go through both the holes with a bit extra on each side.
5. Attach wheel to axel
Try to find the middle of the wheel and push or a cut a hole for the axel to go through it. Secure it front and back with tape and put it through the stand.
6. Make and attach spinner.
Print out the spinner pattern on to card. I found this one and others at http://www.jclahr.com/science/illusions/spin/handout/index.html WARNING Be aware that moving optical illusions of this kind have been known to cause epileptic fits in those people susceptible to photo epileptic seizures.
A diameter of about 10cm is good. Or you could try to draw something similar.
Cut it out. I made mine stronger by putting a bit more card on the back and then I attached it to the other end of the axel using tape. It can be a bit fiddly.
Now you have your finished water wheel.
7. How to make it work
Place on a draining surface that can get wet. A draining board, sink or outside are best. If your stand can be filled with water to make it more stable do it now or hold it steady.
Fill up a container with water, poor the water on to the paddles of your water wheel. Stare at the centre of the optical illusion spinner. It should look quite strange. If you look away it will appear as though things are still moving. Try looking at a flower. WARNING- if you look for a long time, it can make you feel a bit dizzy.
Try out different designs using different scrap. Try using your wheel to power other things.
9. Show us
Send your photos of your wheel or wheels with your name and adress and tell us about building it (to firstname.lastname@example.org or Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen , Cornwall , TR19 7EW).
I will be putting photos up in our blog and facebook and you will receive a NSEW certificate.