| No Fear-The Squirrel is Here
On November 11, Mr. Bill Cloyd brought a contraption called The Device, to the Quadrangle in Berea College.
The Device from Newton’s Attic in Lexington was set up and ready for experiments involving a rail car. Its creator Bill Cloyd, former math and physics teacher and engineer, was on site to help students make calculations and test their work by riding the rail car in an attempt to ring a bell at the end of the line.
According to Cloyd, “the mission of Newton’s Attic is to get young people interested in science, math and engineering by doing very unusual hands on activities like The Device.”
The Device was created and designed to teach about simple mechanical advantage in simple machines and to encourage a culture of quantitative reasoning on college campus.
The purpose of The Device is for people to calculate how far back one has to pull the cart in order to see how far up the ramp one wants to go in order to ring the bell. Starting by taking one’s weight and the weight of the sled then determining how high one wants to go, then multiplying those two numbers, the final number is solved for an equation where it is equal to X, which is how far up one goes.
This event sparked interest among many students, faculty and staff. A number of people agreed to ride The Device and were eager to make it to the top to ring the bell. The children who participated were the most successful ones in achieving that goal.
When asked why he decided to bring The Device to Berea College campus, Cloyd replied “I’m interested in spreading the word that math and science can be a lot of fun. There is nothing to be afraid of. A lot of times people are intimidated by math or science or engineering and the idea is to show people that these subjects really aren’t as scary as people think and they can be used to many fun things.”
This event was sponsored by The SQuIRLs (Society of Quantitative Inquiry and Reasoning Learners) and supported by General Education program fund.