I had an old webcam. I had time on my hands. And I had an idea.
This was never going to end well.
I’m actually pretty pleased with the result. It’s nowhere near as pretty as the one on Instructables produced by Glen Gilchrist (aka @mrgpg) but it didn’t need any power tools. Which were in the shed, and it was raining.
Start with an old webcam and a cheap lamp, in this case one from Ikea. It’s the sort of thing you might have, just make sure it has a long neck which holds the head steady. It will need to support a bit of extra mass. (Not weight. Well, yes, weight. Anyway.)
I used Lego, Sugru and cable ties to hold everything together. This has the advantage of being reversible, as well as quick. How you link the two parts depends on the exact models, but Lego means angles can be fixed and changed to suit your purpose. Plus, you know, Lego.
Sugru feels like blue-tack but dries within 24 hours to a firm silicone rubber. I’ve used it for outdoors repairs, making cufflinks (again with Lego, as it happens) and repairing odds and ends from cables to memory sticks. They don’t sponsor me. (Although if they want to send me some free samples…)
It works fine on my laptop, but I’ll need to try installing the drivers on a memory stick to make it properly portable. The plan is to demonstrate this in my new job and try it out myself, without the cost (100UKP+) involved in the decent models. I’ve read about uses (for example these for primary science from @dannynic) but never had the chance to put them into practice.
My first thoughts:
- use student work immediately for “good because” and “even better if”
- turn a small-scale practical into a class demonstration
- have a student commentate on an experiment in progress
- show hands-on methods like measurements and graph drawing in a realistic way
Not particularly exciting, I know, but I’m expecting to do a lot of improvisation in the new job. I’m currently putting together boxes of demonstrations, quick practicals, tips and tricks for the teachers I’ll be working with. (Post about this coming soonish.) But for now I’d love to have comments giving me better suggestions for how to use my Blue Peter Sugrued visualizer.