Image may contain: table and indoorBeing raised in a pro-science, pro-technology family in an engineering, space town, it was natural for us to be involved in science fair projects. The most special one that we did was one that Jimmy and I did together in ninth grade when we were students at Westlawn Junior High School. It was an anti-gravity machine (pictures shown from a couple of years ago). We won an honorable mention in the science fair that year (Spring 1969). Mom and Dad were proud of Jimmy and me. The contraption still works after almost five decades! I took these pictures when Mom asked me about pictures of it.

The machine was Dad’s idea, probably taken from Popular Electronics magazine. Dad was an expert in electronics. He procured all the materials. I think we used a motor from an erector set to help us wind the coil to make the electromagnet. Jimmy and I took turns counting the winding of the coil to get to a 1000 revolutions. We soldered the components such as transistors and resistors on the electronics board following the schematic. We put the schematic on a poster board with explanation. The electronics board with control devices were placed in and on a chassis that is the base of the anti-gravity machine.

The idea of the machine was simple. There is a light shining on a photo cell. The photo cell is covered on the sides slightly by paper box material. Hanging above the chassis is the electromagnet. Below the magnet, we attempted to hang a metal ball of the world suspended in air. As the ball is hanging there it partly hides the light from the light source to the photo cell. But as the ball begins to fall slightly, more light goes on the photo cell which then increases power to the electromagnet above which pulls the metal earth upward. But as the earth is pulled upward it cuts off more light from the light on the photocell. This in turns tells the system to decrease the power of the electromagnet so that the ball begins to drop. The trick is to get it to a point of equilibrium where the metal ball of the world hangs in mid-air on nothing. Dials for height and stability

Image may contain: makeupare there to help with this task. Lighting in the room matters. Sometimes we could use a straw and blow on the metal ball and see the earth spin.I used this often as show and tell when I was working with young kids in the inner city sections of Scranton, Pennsylvania. I would talk about God’s creation of the world (Genesis 1) and how God hangs the earth on nothing (Job 26:7). It seems like just yesterday that Jimmy and I were in the game room of our house on Oster Drive winding the copper wire to make the coil for the anti-gravity machine. But I am sure that Jimmy is pleased that this joint venture of ours so long ago was used to teach Bible doctrine to children so they could know something about our great God to prepare them for the gospel message that we often gave.