Introduction: Bathroom Bulb

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The first grade class at Frick Environmental Charter School investigated problems in their classroom. One of the problems they wanted to solve was turning the bathroom sign to indicate whether someone was in the bathroom or not--sometimes, people forgot to turn the sign over. Their solution was an invention, the Bathroom Bulb!

Step 1: Gather Your Parts

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Shopping list:
Wire or chain (to turn light bulb on and off)
Hooks (we used two to hold the string in place and one to hold the electrical wire in place on the wall)
Light bulb (we used a red one)
Light bulb mount
Electrical cord
Screws
Screwdriver
Power drill

Step 2: Wire the Bulb Mount

Picture of Wire the Bulb Mount

Before you start this step, make sure nothing is plugged in!

Depending on what kind of wires you have, follow instructions for connecting your wires to make a circuit. You'll need to connect the wires on your electrical cord to the wires in your light bulb mount. Make sure you use a screwdriver to screw the wires in securely when you're done.

To make sure your light bulb mount is wired correctly, screw in the light bulb, plug in the electrical cord, and try turning the bulb on. Be sure to unplug the electrical cord if you need to make any adjustments.

Step 3: Screw the Light Bulb Mount Into the Wall

Picture of Screw the Light Bulb Mount Into the Wall

First, measure where you want your light bulb mount to be. The light bulb mount needs to be above the door so the end of the string can attach to a hook on the door and the electrical cord can reach an electrical outlet. When you've decided where your light bulb mount will go, screw the mount into the wall with your power drill.

Step 4: Add the Hooks

Picture of Add the Hooks

Add hooks to anchor the string and to keep the electrical cord in place. We used three hooks: two to hold the string in place and one to keep the electrical cord straight along the wall. You can attach hooks by drilling a hole in the wall and sliding them into the hole, or you can get hooks that are attached to a mount and screw them into the wall through the mount to make them extra secure.

Once the hooks are in place, put the string and electrical cord through them. Tie the end of the string to the hook on the door. This way, when the door opens and closes, it will turn the light bulb on and off. Make sure your string is long enough!

Step 5: Test Your Invention and Make It Better!

Picture of Test Your Invention and Make It Better!

Make sure your invention is working by trying it out. You may need to make changes to your bathroom bulb until it works every time.

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