Throughout the tour, I’ll be posting some simplified sketches of our traveling exhibit to demonstrate how they work and what we hope visitors will get out of the experience. It’s another way for me to share some science and give the tour another outlet to connect with people. Here’s the first of them:
Pulling the top rope on the right side moves the opposite rope end but it also eventually pulls in the other two ends. If we pull the bottom rope on the left, it pulls in the slack from the top rope. So what’s going on inside? That’s the big question we ask our visitors.
To aid their thought process, we encourage them to draw out possible models that could explain the observations they saw after manipulating the ropes. Since the tube is fairly large, visitors usually have to work together to understand how the ropes move. During this process, questions are asked, people come together to work on a problem, hypotheses are made and different approaches are used to test the models.