Slope Rider

As part of an NSF grant to develop exhibits and teaching aids that illustrate key concepts of calculus, I worked with a group at the Science Museum of Minnesota. To illustrate the essential idea of slope as "rise over run," I decided to use the example of slope when skiing. A computer display in front of Slope Rider lets users enter a slope for Casey (named after my daughter who modeled the pose), and with a whir of gears she rotates to that angle. A laser connected to the board points at the same direction, and there are several goals to try and hit. If the laser lands on a goal, Casey does a flip!

Slope Rider now resides in the Science Museum of Minneosta's Experiment Gallery.

A couple of pictures from the development process:

Casey (my daughter) modeling
the pose

Casey, cut out of steel
My virtual models of Slope Rider

Cutting out the "Slope Rider" sign

An early prototype for the laser

Moving Casey, with some help!

Casey in the shop before installation