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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Brainstorming for a Math Lesson (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Aaron Moring
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Chicago
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Hey guys,
I am much more a card/coin guy and this is going to need some box guy help. I figured this would be the place to turn to.
I am trying to build an item to use in my middle school math classroom for a demonstration on square roots (and would be happy to post a link to a demonstration when finished). I am having trouble really visualizing exactly what I need mechanically.

The box should be about a foot square on the front, give or take, with an open front and thickness/depth is negligible. It should be constructed so that, at first, one item, let's say an apple, could be placed inside and all looks normal. Then, some adjustment is made any an apple placed inside will show a reflection and look like two apples. That's pretty much it. Examinability is not even an issue, really. I just need it to make one thing look like two when put in the box. Simple mirror trick, I figure.

If this is too easy, here's my bonus requirement - A switch to adjust a second mirror so that in 'phase III' an item placed inside would have two reflections and appear to be three items.

It can be made of pretty much anything, though I am pretty handy with tools, especially working with wood and cardboard.

Any thoughts? Perhaps you know of plans, a book, or some principle I could check out. Maybe this is better for Secret Sessions, but since I will be building it, I thought I would check here first.

Thanks for the help, in advance. You all are awesome and super helpful. I look forward to hearing the responses.

Aaron

(This is a sketch of what I was imagining. A bad sketch.) http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4880/scannedimage0.jpg
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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One to two is easy. Just make a version of the Abbott's Frame of Life & Death. Continuing on to then show three?? I'll have to think about that for a bit.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Aaron Moring
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Regular user
Chicago
165 Posts

Profile of Aaron Moring
Michael - Thanks for the idea. I checked a video out and it really seems overkill for what I need. It doesn't really need a visual transformation, just me holding one item, put it in the box (which could even be obscured by my body) and then it looks like two (or three) inside the box. It can even be from a fixed point of view; I could record the performance and show it on a projector. If nothing else, it is a place to start, though.

EDIT: Even better, if just one part of the visible area had the mirror, so I could place the apple in one part and it would appear to be one and move it to another part and it would appear to be two...

This is sounding more and more complicated as I think about it...
Dave Fiscus
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Hmm, multiplying apples to demonstrate a square root? Ok, maybe you are too fixated on your apple & box idea. Does it absolutely have to be an apple, a box and a mirror? If so, think an angled mirror covered with a black drape that can be whisked away. Or, why not really make the apple multiply? Maybe use black art to cover duplicate apples in your box, or perhaps use drawer box or big change bag. Think in a new direction...how about big sponge balls? You're a coin guy, make a larger sponge object multiply in your hands...squares, cubes, balls, sponge numbers, anything.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Quote:
On 2011-12-07 20:16, Aaron Moring wrote:
Michael - Thanks for the idea. I checked a video out and it really seems overkill for what I need. It doesn't really need a visual transformation, just me holding one item, put it in the box (which could even be obscured by my body) and then it looks like two (or three) inside the box. It can even be from a fixed point of view; I could record the performance and show it on a projector. If nothing else, it is a place to start, though.

EDIT: Even better, if just one part of the visible area had the mirror, so I could place the apple in one part and it would appear to be one and move it to another part and it would appear to be two...

This is sounding more and more complicated as I think about it...


I believe Michael Baker was not offering a definitive answer for your project. He was suggesting you use some of the methodology from the illusion he referenced. Hope his offering will help you come up with a solution to your idea.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Aaron Moring
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Chicago
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Dave,
I'm only really attached to the box part of the idea (because there needs to be a confined space to represent the space under a root symbol). The items could be anything that would be countable, apples were just the first thing that popped in my head for drawing purposes. The mirror is certainly not the only method I had considered, it just seemed obvious to me (but black art could work very well, too, now that you mention it). I had previously tried palming pencils, coins, and paper balls in and out during the lesson, but I found that as I was focusing on the sleights, they took a huge toll on the rest of my lesson. Also, I am planning on telling the students that it is a box that does the work, not so much a puzzle to be figured out, so they are less focused on how it works and more on the object lesson.
AGMagic
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Cailf.
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Perhaps you could use a "Peppers Ghost" type effect with isolated lighting on the reveal so one, two, or all 3 apples could be shown depending on the section/sections lit. I see it with two baffles and 3 lights to produce the effect. It will probably be a bit larger than you described, but it needn't be huge.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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