How to brush your teeth in Space! A fieldtrip to the UJ Robotics Lab

DSC_2481Our learners went on their first Streetlight field-trip this Saturday! Bonolo Ratshidi, our arts tutor, took them for the day to the University of Johannesburg robot science technolab to learn about making popcorn with magnetic energy, wind tunnels and how to brush your teeth in space!

Our learners had a great time. In the robotics lab they got to control robots and looked at how programming is used for street cameras, games and other technology and asked a lot of questions. In the mechanical engineering lab, they saw two solar cars and learnt that they run on solar energy and if you become an engineer you can build one yourself. 

Next, they went into a wind tunnel used to test prototypes. Some were a little hesitant about going in, eventually we all went in and saw a demonstration. We saw how wind is used to create a production line for a factory. Lastly, in the general science lab, they saw an experiment on how electrical energy can be created using a transformer. There was a long steel pipe that transmitted energy at the top that looked like lightning. The students all took a turn touching the tip and feeling how the small lightning moved from the device to their hands. They also used a light bulb to touch it and it lit up. And they saw how to make popcorn with magnetic energy.

DSC_2477Things that amazed our learners:

– That people had made all of these machines.

– That anything other than fire or electricity can make food.

– That wind can be used to push things and can create energy for machines

– That someone made cars that didn’t run on petrol.

Some great questions and observations:

– You can make things yourself: you need not buy anything, but you can make it if you learn how.

– What, exactly, is Space?DSC_2493


Bonolo Ratshidi,Tutor- Streetlight Schools


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