My Physics teacher showed me a video of a bowling ball pendulum and how it would create really cool looking wave forms. Once KickBox was brought to Elon, I felt like having something along those lines would be an awesome addition to campus. The Engineering department thus far is confined to the basement of McMichael and half of a small workshop building called the Greenhouse. Coinciding with the campus' intentions of growing the engineering program, having this project displayed near the Greenhouse would be awesome!
After contacting multiple bowling alleys and doing some number crunching, having a full-sized pendulum will be very over-budget and cause many obstacles for our team. To avoid these unnecessary obstacles (and potentially set ourselves up for a bigger project in the future), we are going to down-size the setup. Based upon basic sketches now it will be about the size of two shoe boxes stacked upon one another and will be made from less-expensive material. The ball material is still being discussed upon however the frame work is most likely going to be made from wood and some light metals.
To compensate for the lack in size, I am hoping to incorporate some type of system composed of mallets, weights and strips of metal to play a tune every time one of the balls passes through the center of the device. In the video we initially watched to get our idea, the bowling balls would slightly tap a hollow copper pipe and play a note. This would make the project more appealing.
The plan with making this smaller-scaled project is to more easily present it places as well as keep it as a solid plan of a larger-scale build (if the university allows). Pictures to come soon!
So I chose my project sponsor to be my first semester physics professor, Dr. Kamela. We've had a pretty solid relationship throughout the semester and even into my preceding semesters when I did not have him as my professor. He was the one who suggested doing a project of this breed. Our plan for this project is to definitely do a bowling ball pendulum however the size is up for discussion. As awesome as a full-sized pendulum would be (would be around the size of a mini-school bus), it may be too expensive for the budget I have to work with. ALSO, my plan was to initially display it on campus however Elon is a very pristine-looking campus and most things are uniform, adding a piece as odd as this might not go over well with those in charge of campus grounds. This will require more reserach into materials as well as permission from the campus.
After going through the first two steps given to me in the KickBox that I received, Inception and Ideate respectively, I have realized my inspirations for this project and truly found the drive to finish it. My higher learning institution, Elon Univeristy, has graciously accepted me into the Odyssey Scholars Program and helped my family and myself out to allow me to attend college. I could not be more thankful for that. In return, I plan to do a lot with my education and more over, give back to this wonderful establishment. I saw the KickBox as a wonderful oppurtunity to not only give back, but to help build the Science department at Elon (a goal that the University is working at currently.