Materials, machines, structures, and electricity: systems that keep us alive, healthy, and working, and why you should understand them.
This web page is about a program that teaches non-technical people how things work.
"Contemporary social life is what it is in very large measure because of the
results of application of physical science. The experience of every child and
youth, in the country and the city, is what it is in its present actuality
because of appliances which utilize electricity, heat, and chemical processes. A
child ... does not read by artificial light or take a ride in a motor car or on
a train without coming into contact with operations and processes which science
has engendered. It is a sound educational principle that students should be
introduced to scientific subject-matter and be initiated into its facts and laws
through acquaintance with everyday social applications."
John Dewey, Experience and Education, 1938, p. 79, 80
October, 2008: After several years of doing other things, I have decided to revive the original How Things Work project. Initially, it will consist of on-site, personal demonstrations, similar to what I have done in several years as an independent volunteer at COSI and as a college lecturer and tutor. These will be done at a nominal fee and are suitable for students fourth grade or older and for teachers' groups as well. For further information on these demonstrations, which will be initially conducted within a 100-mile radius of my home in Lancaster, Ohio (near Columbus) please call (740)687-6368 or contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To join the How Things Work e-mail discussion group, send a blank,
no-subject e-mail message to
Admission is open to everyone, including young people.
Here's the website: