How about a mad scientist's laboratory? : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

Most of the challenges I have seen have involved building one major item. How about challenges in which a number of items would need to be constructed?

For instance, a laboratory for a mad scientist - a centrifuge, a spectrometer (look for the old CD's for diffraction gratings), a magnetic stirrer, a balance - calibrated using pocket change perhaps - with a tare capability, some sort of heating system (not a burner). Points for the number of items completed or perhaps there would be tasks that would need to be done that would need various combinations of apparatus.

All the above have at least two ways of being done - the spectrometer could use a suncatcher as a prism instead of a CD as a diffraction grating, for instance.

-- Stanley Roberts (, March 30, 2001


I'm niether mad or a scientist,but with the exception of the spectrometer it sure sounds my shop.....

-- Matthew Kenney~AtOmic Ants (, March 30, 2001.

Sounds kind of boring for a show. I know it must be exciting for someone....but the TV masses? Hey, maybe scratch a petri dish and we can watch mold grow......biggest mold in ten hours...wins!

-- John gap (, March 31, 2001.

How interesting it would be would depend on the presentation. All the shows involve:

1. Presenting the challenge

2. Teams figure out approach

3. Teams find parts

4. Teams build item

5. Item is used

1 would be the same. 2 would likely be a bit more complex than usual since you would be building multiple independent components. The main interest in 2 usually comes from the animations/presentations explaining what the teams are doing, and these would have a larger scope. Likewise, 3 would involve more looking, since you would be looking for smaller things rather than major systems. 4 would be the same, but less welding (perhaps a nice change of pace). 5 would likely need a bit of thought to make it visually interesting. For the Mad Scientist's laboratory, clearly the thing would be to have the scoring decision based on the completion of a chemical task - for instance, you have to isolate materials using your centrifuge or some other piece of apparatus, weigh out correct proportions using the balance, mix, and have the resulting mixture show a proper spectrum (flame spectra can be very exciting). (Mind you, I am not slighting the biochemists - something with petri dishes, such as isolating yeasts for fermentation, would doubtless have a dedicated audience - but while doing a fermenter and perhaps a distilling apparatus for the product could be accomplished in 10 hours, the demonstration phase would take longer than I suspect the show would like.)

-- Stanley Roberts (, April 01, 2001.

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