Make a Glitter Surprise Package *
|Areas of Science||
Electricity & Electronics
|Time Required||Short (2-5 days)|
AbstractHave you ever seen a video of a glitter prank package? They usually show an unsuspecting person opening a package or a gift, only to be sprayed by a shower of glitter. Former NASA engineer Mark Rober got tired of thieves stealing packages off his porch, so he decided to build an elaborate decoy glitter package*, as he shows in this video. Mark's device involves a lot of custom software, electronics, and 3D printing, so might seem a little intimidating if you are new to engineering. This video shows you how to build a much simpler surprise glitter package, using a basic circuit with no programming required:
Can you turn this glitter prank package into an engineering project? For example, how can you ensure that the device isn't set off prematurely? Can you modify the design to spread glitter over a larger area? Can you make it easier to re-use? What about a human behavior science project—how do people react to opening the box? (remember that you need to follow all your science fair's rules about working with human subjects!).
*Note: Mark's original video refers to the device as a "glitter bomb." We do not recommend using the word "bomb" to refer to anything you build for a school project.
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Last edit date: 2019-10-04
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If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Mechanical EngineerMechanical engineers are part of your everyday life, designing the spoon you used to eat your breakfast, your breakfast's packaging, the flip-top cap on your toothpaste tube, the zipper on your jacket, the car, bike, or bus you took to school, the chair you sat in, the door handle you grasped and the hinges it opened on, and the ballpoint pen you used to take your test. Virtually every object that you see around you has passed through the hands of a mechanical engineer. Consequently, their skills are in demand to design millions of different products in almost every type of industry. Read more
Electrical & Electronics EngineerJust as a potter forms clay, or a steel worker molds molten steel, electrical and electronics engineers gather and shape electricity and use it to make products that transmit power or transmit information. Electrical and electronics engineers may specialize in one of the millions of products that make or use electricity, like cell phones, electric motors, microwaves, medical instruments, airline navigation system, or handheld games. Read more
Commercial & Industrial DesignerHave you always loved art? Do you have a good eye for beauty, balance, and form? How would you like to see your designs show up in toy stores? Or in a sporting goods store? Or at a car dealer? Commercial and industrial designers create the shape and form of every type of manufactured good that you can think of—from toys, sporting goods, and medical equipment to high technology products, furniture, toothbrushes, and toasters. They design the form of new products that are as beautiful and pleasing to look at as they are functional. Read more
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