Stories indexed with the term ‘Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum’

Local Inventor’s Magnetoscope on Display

On Monday, May 4, 2009, the question to Michael Flynn from the city of Ann Arbor building inspector was: “What line of work are you in?” Flynn’s answer: “I invent things.”

ferrous goo

The ferrofluid in Michael Flynn’s Magnetoscope forms spiky columns in response to the interplay between magnetic fields and gravity.

In Flynn’s backyard, the inspector had just signed off on the packed sand for a concrete pour that will become the floor of Flynn’s new laboratory space.

So what sort of stuff does Flynn invent? And is there any money in that?

From now through Mother’s Day, visitors to Ann Arbor’s Hands-On Museum can have a look and touch for themselves. That’s where Flynn’s Magnetoscope will be on display. The Magnetoscope exhibit illustrates how ferrofluid – oil, plus iron oxide particles, plus a surfactant – interacts with the forces of magnetic fields and gravity to create spiky columns out of an black pool of liquid. Visitors can manipulate the magnetic fields by cranking a red or a blue magnet closer or further away from the pool of ferrofluid. [Full Story]

To Infinity and Beyond

This image showing the location of the International Space Stations orbit, was projected onto a screen at the Hands On Museum.

This live satellite image, showing the International Space Station's orbit, was projected onto a screen at the Hands-On Museum. The concentric circles indicate the range for radio contact with the ISS. (The map also appears to confirm that Ann Arbor is indeed the center of the universe.)

When The Chronicle arrived at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Saturday morning, Ig Justyna was on the roof adjusting a directional antenna – when they say “hands on,” they aren’t kidding.

Justyna was the main organizer of Saturday’s link-up with the International Space Station, giving kids a chance to ask questions of the flight commander, Mike Fincke, via radio connection as the station made a pass over the continental United States. And it gave kids a look at just what amateur radio operators can do.

It was not an easy thing to pull off. [Full Story]