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Step 10: To Use...

To play your Phototheramin, flip the card over so that you can see the photocell. Move your hand closer and further from it to change the tone you hear. When done, simply remove the batteries from the flap to turn it off. 

A fairly simple explanation we use with the kids who visit the Museum is that this is an example of an electrical circuit where electricity flows from the batteries, through the circuit, and back to the batteries. The speaker plays a tone created by the transistors and capacitor. This tone is controlled by the photocell, which acts as a sensor. The more light the photocell receives, the higher the tone and the less light, the lower the tone. This is also a great project to discuss how some electrical components (like transistors) can control how the electricity flows through a circuit, how some (capacitors) store up electrical energy and release it, and how some circuits have control mechanisms - sensors (in this case the photocell) that controls how the circuit acts.
 
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