Alas, this project has been chosen! It uses neodymium magnets and a AA battery to propel a copper structure in a circular motion- the more magnets, the faster your animal (or shape) of choice will spin.
Step 1: The Beginning's of Something Great (At Least I Think)
We'll start off with something easy; gathering materials.
You will need:
Copper Wire (whichever gauge tickles your fancy, price will vary)
A double A battery
Neodymium magnets (Rare Earth Magnets, around 3-5 dollars depending on the size and count)
Phillips Head Screwdriver
Step 2: Dimples Aren't Just for Looks
Using your screwdriver and hammer/mallet, you will want to gently tap a dip into the positive end of a battery. It doesn't need to be too deep, it just needs to be enough to support the curve of your copper wire so it doesn't slip.
Step 3: Size Doesn't Matter (I Promise)
Depicted I have two different sizes of the same magnet, which doesn't matter. Play around with the ratio of magnets (if they're not all the same size), it'll all work in the end. Stick the magnets together and then attach them to the negative end of the battery.
Step 4: Spirals Are Nice, But Not the Only Option
This is gonna get a little long, but it shouldn't be too bad. As we saw in the last step, I had the smaller magnets sitting above the bigger ones, mainly for this purpose. There are numerous ways you could fit your copper to move freely around the battery, but this is the way that I found best because we also have to support weight.
Find a cylindrical object that is slightly wider than the battery/magnet combo that you're working with. Wrap the copper in a spiral pattern and stop 3-4 rotations in, making sure that there is plenty extra on the leading end of the wire. Pull your coil to expand/compress it to fit over your battery combo, curve a portion of the excess copper over and loop it so it fits in to the dimple you created earlier and make sure that the structure doesn't completely touch the bottom of the surface you're working on. keep the rest of the copper vertical, you'll need it for later
Step 5: It's Party Time, We've Got Coloring Pages
Pick and animal, any animal! Trace the shape of it with the copper and secure the loose ends with tape (if you're lazy like me) or some other various method of securing the copper together. Detail is negligible, but go for it if you can.
Step 6: BOOM. Let's Put It All Together
You remember that extra bit of copper from the coil? You're gonna need it now. All you'll need to do is curve it in to a hook shape, find the fulcrum of your animal shape, tape that bad boy together. If you haven't already, fit your copper piece(s) on top of the battery/magnets, adjust accordingly. And...
Step 7: Viola!
Now you have a rotating animal thing! Congrats!