As mentioned in a previous post, a PTSOS participant alerted me to the prospect of constructing a wave machine with Gummy Bears.
I was intrigued enough to give it a shot.
The inertial candies used in the original were the UK-specific Jelly Babies. Sure, we have Gummy Bears (and Gummi Bears) here in the states. But their masses are significantly less than those of the Jelly Babies.
A Jelly Baby packs 6 grams of gelatinous sugar into its plump, opaque body. A Gummy Bear gets by with a mere 2.5 grams of see-through, rubbery gel. It could be eaten by a Swedish Fish for a twist of confectionary irony.
I opted for Dots, a product of the Tootsie corporation. They're nearly 4 grams each. (I didn't know the actual mass of a Jelly Baby until after our in-class project).
My OCD tendencies required that step 1 of the project was to sort the five flavors/colors of Dots. The Wikipedia entry for Dots says that Tootsie claims all flavors are produced in equal amounts. We found that cherry red outnumbered any other flavor by more than 2-to-1.
The rest of the project is represented fairly well in the video I produced and uploaded to YouTube. (Curiously, I produced the video in Apple's Keynote, which allowed me to include some nice construction animations.)
A draft PDF of the student lab activity write-up can be found here:
Connecting the Dots.
If you have trouble opening the PDF, welcome to Snow Leopard 10.6.7, the update that unceremoniously broke Open Type Fonts. It seems it won't open in Safari or Acrobat, but it will open in Firefox (with its PDF plugin), and it will open in Preview, oddly enough. One hopes this will be addressed in 10.6.8, whenever that comes out.