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by Suhail Ahanger

Introduction

Using small straw pieces, we create a visual treat with the help of some thin metal wire wound into a spiral. Are our eyes sharp enough to decipher the snake?

Video Overview

    • No need to open the safety pins for this activity; they may remain secured throughout.

    • The ends of the binding wire are pokey, and should be kept away from your eyes or other sensitive areas

  1. Take a thin binding wire about 60 cm in length and wind it around a pencil/pen to form a spring . Remove the spring  from the pencil Pull the two ends of the spring gently till you have a spiral, where each loop is about 1cm apart. Knot one of the loose ends such that it acts like a stopper.
    • Take a thin binding wire about 60 cm in length and wind it around a pencil/pen to form a spring .

    • Remove the spring from the pencil

    • Pull the two ends of the spring gently till you have a spiral, where each loop is about 1cm apart. Knot one of the loose ends such that it acts like a stopper.

  2. Take 5-6cm pieces of each of the 4 colours of straw Cut each one into much smaller pieces, about 3mm each in size
    • Take 5-6cm pieces of each of the 4 colours of straw

    • Cut each one into much smaller pieces, about 3mm each in size

    • Ideally, you should have at least 6-8 small pieces of each colour

  3. Insert the cut straw pieces, one-by-one, through the open end of the spiral wire. You may choose to put one colour at a time (as shown), or alternate colours or randomly; the choice is yours!
    • Insert the cut straw pieces, one-by-one, through the open end of the spiral wire.

    • You may choose to put one colour at a time (as shown), or alternate colours or randomly; the choice is yours!

    • Once all the straw pieces are placed , lock the open end of the spiral wire by making a small knot with the wire.

  4. Hold the spiral wire vertically and observe the snake spiral down! Now flip it over and see it again! Open one end of the spiral wire and insert a few safety pins and secure the end once again. See how this spirals down! Do the same by placing only the safety pins in the wire
    • Hold the spiral wire vertically and observe the snake spiral down! Now flip it over and see it again!

    • Open one end of the spiral wire and insert a few safety pins and secure the end once again. See how this spirals down!

    • Do the same by placing only the safety pins in the wire

    • You may try putting any items with a hole - e.g. beads, ring magnets etc. - and in any combination, into the spiral wire, to enjoy playing with this wonderful toy!

    • Make sure the loops of the spiral are not too closely spaced. You can always stretch the wire a little bit more if they are.

    • The straw pieces need to be small!

    • Most often, the toy doesn't work when one or both of the above two issues are ignored

    • The ends of the spiral should be secured/knotted well enough so that the straw pieces don't spill out.

    • After some time, the wire can get a bit uneven and bent. You can easily straighten it out and re-wind it after that!

    • How would this work if you tried to make the spiral with a rubber band? Or with a cotton thread?

    • Before stretching it into a long spiral, your wire was like a spring. Would you consider a spring elastic? If so, why can't you make it from an elastic material (e.g. rubber band), but need something very inelastic (e.g. metal) to make it?

    • Given that the length your snake travels = (length of wire) - (length of snake), calculate the average speed with which it descends the spiral. Make the same measurement for different materials

    • The safety pins seem to bunch up while descending; why does this happen?

Finish Line

Suhail Ahanger

Member since: 05/02/2017

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