Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/359

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345
APPARATUS-MAKING IN EDUCATION.

tried. Still other washes are made, some of which may be found a protection. A number of rules are given in The Popular Science News during the year 1882. The house can be kept tolerably free from mosquitoes by using care, and a netting over the bed protects one during the night; but, when one wishes to spend his summer vacation in the country, he is willing to try anything that will protect him from these most annoying creatures, which make a morning spent in the woods a torture instead of a pleasure.

 

APPARATUS-MAKING IN EDUCATION.
By M. C. WILSON,

PROFESSOR OF NATURAL SCIENCES, ALABAMA STATE NORMAL SCHOOL.

BY way of further illustrating the truth of what Prof. Woodhull says in his article, Home-made Apparatus, in the August, 1889, number of The Popular Science Monthly, allow me to present some work that has been done here in that direction.

We have no workshop and no tools. Our method of work is this: In the study of natural philosophy, when a principle is being enunciated, some half-dozen or more members of the class are asked to make the piece of apparatus which illustrates this principle. A week is allowed for its completion, or a longer time, if the work involves much difficulty, or if the pupil has much work in other classes. He is allowed to use any material he can get, and he may ask the aid of a blacksmith, carpenter, or any mechanic. But the work, when brought in, must be neatly finished, and must be made of materials that cost absolutely nothing. Of the six or more pieces of the same kind, the neatest and most accurate one is preserved in school. In this way, in the course of time, some hundreds of pieces of apparatus are made which serve perfectly well to illustrate the principles of natural philosophy. These pieces are handled, tested, and compared by the pupils in the class-rooms, and in this way they voluntarily spend spare minutes before and after school hours. They consist of such articles as inertia apparatus, steelyard, balance of equal arms, pulleys, inclined planes, wheel and axle, hydrometer, siphon, fountains, Leyden jar, pith-ball electroscope, gold-leaf electroscope, batteries of various kinds, magnets, electro-magnets, telegraph apparatus, etc. These, if purchased from an instrument dealer, would amount to several hundred dollars.

For materials for construction of apparatus, the pupils ask at home or at stores or shops where they are acquainted. There are always bottles, tin-foil, corks, wax, wood, scraps of wire, iron, tin-plate, bits of thread, cloth, etc., to be had for the asking. Almost