Scrapyard Challenge

(The inside of the box is not meant to be seen for this reason)

Group: Nicole, Ivy, Not

Coming into the Scrapyard Challenge I was really excited about all of the stuff I brought – a toaster oven, VCR, Nintendo controller, smoke detector, and a bunch of other random junk.  I thought I would be using these items to make something, yet in the end we only used a cardboard box, aluminum foil, wire, and rope.  Our original idea was to use a large rope that we found and hang things from it that can make different sounds when they hit one another. The concept was to have a human shaker so that you can shake the rope and create a variety of different sounds.  We thought this would be too difficult and would have too many wires coming from it, so instead we moved toward a simpler design.

The first project my group created was a mystery music box.   All we used was a cardboard box, aluminum foil, and wire, with the original idea that you could shake the box and hear different sounds.  Then we realized it might be more useful for the user to be able to control the sound that they create.  Each side of the box contains a different sound panel (there are 4 in total), and handles to control the sound. As you pull the handle towards you, it moves the aluminum foil ball inside the box so that it will hit the wall and make a certain sound.  The idea is that you can have more than one person making sounds together.  One issue we ran into was how to make this cardboard box with 4 wires coming out of it act as a usable interface.  The box is meant to be closed so it is a mystery as to what is going on, therefore we weren’t sure if people would understand what they are supposed to do with it.  We ended up adding the handles to the wire so that it is more intuitive that you are supposed to pull on it to discover that it actually produces sound.

For our next project we used the original idea of a hanging rope and covered pieces of it in aluminum foil.  We created a sound wave type instrument where you can swing the rope to hit the other pieces of rope, creating a sound with each collision.  This can create a sort of domino sound effect.  Both of the projects were pretty simple but overall we were happy with how they turned out, and they ended up creating nice sound effects.

I found this to be a very fun and educational day.  It was really interesting to see everyone else’s projects as well, and I think the whole thing turned out to be a great success!

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  1. Loved the rope/chime concept!

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