CALLING ALL INVENTORS, TINKERERS, MAKERS, AND BIG THINKERS! Join us for a fantastic day of hands-on engineering family fun as we explore the extraordinary power of WATER at the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont.
Although the original waterwheel in the 1846 Robbins and Lawrence Armory (now the American Precision Museum) was decommissioned years ago, we can use everyday materials to recreate mini-models of the original waterwheel to understand how it powered the entire factory! We’ll also observe a Heron’s Fountain to learn about the science behind hydraulics and pneumatics and explore how water pressure creates electricity. You won’t want to miss it!
Schedule of events:
11:00am-2:00pm – Water Wheel Workshops: Design, engineer, and build a mini water wheel to see how the historic 1846 Robbins & Lawrence Armory used Windsor’s Mill Brook to power its machines.
11:00am–1:00pm – The How of Hydraulics: Using simple tubing and syringes, we’ll explore hydraulics, see a Heron’s Fountain, and understand how water pressure can be used to our mechanical advantage.
11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm – Museum Exhibit Highlights: Join APM museum staff for a short introduction to the exhibits and how an 1840s water wheel ran the innovative machinery of the day, culminating in Windsor being the birthplace of precision manufacturing and Precision Valley.
1:00pm–3:00pm – Under (Water) Pressure: Using a variety of found materials, we’ll have fun exploring and manipulating water pressure in surprising ways.
1:00pm–3:00pm – Exploring Electricity: Using small electric motors, LED lights, and wires, we’ll see how we can generate our own electricity and learn how dams along the Connecticut River power our homes and businesses and how electric vehicles can make their own electricity to recharge their batteries.
Admission is FREE for all, including maker workshops and museum tours. Join for specific workshops or stay the whole day! *Note: We suggest wearing clothing that can get wet!
Visiting Maker Bio: Mike Fenzel, Maker & STEM Educator
Mike Fenzel is a creative science educator and STEM curriculum developer with over 22 years of experience developing and leading programs for schools and the general public. An avid tinkerer and maker, Mike specializes in developing innovative engineering projects and makerspace activities for the whole family.