Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Takin' It to the Next Level...

Many of you know that I was working hard to get Dan to put up a bulletin board. Some of you may know that Dan is the king of dinner explanations. The kids will ask a question which will launch Dan into a long explanation of "you name it". Sometimes I can't take it and I'll say the answer quickly to end it before he starts it! Trust me...if you have anything similar at your house, this action would tempt you as well.

Last night, I8 was telling us about a story he heard at his Pioneer Living class about a man who was  hauling logs in the winter and when two of the logs fell, they rolled down a hill and over some lake ice and up the other side and the logs did this over and over. Dan said it remind him of a Perpetual Motion Machine and that was it. The questions started and we began talking about "Perpetual Motion Machines". I was only half paying attention and asked, "Why would anyone think that would work?" You know...because of my awesome physics prowess from college, this made no sense to me! But the kids were hanging on his every word and as things got going Dan said, "Now if this thing were a white board, I'd be all over it!" He is referring to my bulletin board there. So, he quickly asked if I had push pins for it and a moment later he came back with a piece of butcher paper and a Sharpie.

I want to officially say, this took his dinner time teaching moment to a whole new level.

Everyone listens as Dan begins to illustrate one of the ideas for a perpetual motion machine

His drawing is really going now...all eyes still peeled and everyone asking engaging questions.

By the time he was done, he had covered a lot of ground. We've got the machine, friction, vectors...
So, as we were going along Dan tells the kids about how friction works- because this is one of the main reasons a perpetual motion machine cannot work. The designers did not take into account other forces on the machine. Besides, as anyone knows, you can get work out of something without putting energy into the system. Once I saw the force arrows, I coaxed Dan...I go, "Go ahead honey just say it..." Then he told the kids what vectors were.

I just want to say I did remember physics because I reminded Dan that according to the laws of thermodynamics, you cannot create or destroy energy...so that is a big one when it comes to perpetual motion. Then Dan thought he'd trip me up when asking which law goes with everything in the universe going to a state of chaos...Entropy! Oh yes I DID remember that! 

As you can see....dinner time is never dull around here. And now we've gone to the next level. Maybe I should look into a real white board on the opposite wall.


Kisha said...

Cool! Heather, my husband is also an engineer, and I am...NOT, so I've had the same moments where I just want to get to the point. My husband is not quite so detailed as your husband's (my kids are younger) but I can soo see this happening at dinnertime in the future.

Tracey said...

This looks so sweet. The family sitting, eating, and listening to dad.

Hey, in the background I see the cut up art work in frames. They turned out great!

Heather said...

Thanks Tracey...the artwork did turn out well!

Thanks for noticing.