Thorp Mill Field Trip

By Jenna Richter | May 9, 2016 | Engineering, Science

 

On Friday, we took a walk to the Thorp Mill.  Discovery Lab had visited the grounds earlier this year but this time we got to take a tour from the amazing docent Mary. First, she explained that the mill was one giant machine.  She asked the kids what they knew about machines.  Their knowledge included engines, batteries or something to power them, wheels and pulleys.   Mary gave us a tour of the first floor where we looked at how items to be milled, corn, wheat and barley, traveled up through pillars from the basement to the top floor.

Audrey looking at the scoops that carried the grain from the basement.
Audrey looking at the scoops that carried the grain from the basement.

 

We headed up some steep and narrow stairs to see where the grain would be carried.  Mary had us keep our eyes peeled for wheels and pulleys.

 

Wow! What a beautiful machine!
Wow! What a beautiful machine!

 

Mary showed us the centrifugal wheel and let us spin it carefully as well as the Archimedes Screw.

 

Many hands turning the centrifugal reel.
Many hands turning the centrifugal reel.

 

Mary showed us how the pieces came apart for quicker repair.
Mary showed us how the pieces came apart for quicker repair on the Archimedes Screw.

 

Next, we headed down to the second floor to look at where the water would come in from the stream to power the entire machine.  The turbine was in the basement which we did not visit but we were able to peek down through the floor boards.

 

We looked out to see where the stream would flow in and power the machine.
We looked out to see where the stream would flow in and power the machine.

 

After seeing everything, Mary invited us to create simple machines out of everyday objects.

 

Audrey constructing her grinder sifter.
Audrey constructing her grinder sifter.

 

Louie's machine, "The grain goes through the rollers, is sifted down through the fan and goes into three different containers. The three different containers sort the different types of grains.
Louie’s machine, “The grain goes through the rollers, is sifted down through the fan and goes into three different containers. The three different containers sort the different types of grains.

 

Today we wrote our thank you notes and will plan to make our own working model of the Archimedes Screw.

Doc - May 9, 2016, 12-10 PM