Cash awards for amateur scientific apparatus designs

In an effort to advance the cause of citizen science, Michael Wood is offering a total of $400 in prize money to anyone who can produce reliable, low-cost (<$100US) DIY scientific apparatus capable of meeting one of four design objectives:

First, we require a device capable of producing liquid nitrogen at the rate of at least 100mL an hour.

Secondly, we require a vacuum system capable of pumping down a volume of at least 10cm x 10cm x 10cm to, and holding a vacuum at, 0.01 atm (with pressure measurement).

Thirdly, we require the ability to view objects of small scale with up to 1000x magnification.

Finally, we require a functioning oscilloscope, capable of measuring at least two signals at once, and with multimeter capability, accurate in all measurements to within 1%.

Read all the details at Michael’s website.


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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