Introduction to electronics/robotics program in Sioux Lookout

Back by popular demand!

November 19th in the thriving metropolis of Sioux Lookout, Ontario!

Program 1 in the Robotics: Learn by building series:

Introduction to Electricity and Electronics


I’ll be hosting the first program in the “Robotics: Learn by building” series of in-class courses. Learn electricity and electronics with no prior knowledge or skills needed!

Youth program November 19th, 9am-4pm

Suggested age 9-16: In this intensive, full day program you will learn the basics of electricity and electronics by building a number of electronic circuits using professional electronic engineering tools. No prior knowledge (except very basic math) or skills needed. Parent/guardian participation is encouraged (and they get in for free!), so drag a parent or guardian along with you! You will make your own electronic components, and use microchips to flash lights, make sound effects and control a DC motor and a servo motor, all with a focus on electronics for robotics. You can purchase all the needed parts in a kit to use in the program, or bring your own electronic parts if you have them.

There will be a treasure hunt with prizes during the breaks throughout the day.

Make sure to pack a lunch and some snacks – you’ll be using your brain extensively which consumes a lot of energy.


The Robotics: Learn by building series of programs walk you from zero knowledge in robotics to actually designing and building your own robots from scratch.  This present program is the first in the series of in-person programs with extensive hands-on learning.  While the program is geared for the 9-13 year old range, Ian has had 8 year olds to 40-somethings take the program and enjoy it.

The accompanying electronics kit is optional, as you may have the parts already.  You are welcome to bring your own parts, just make sure you bring all of the parts in the parts list (click the big blue button to download the list)

Really big button to download the parts list

Parent/Guardian participation with their child during the kids program is encouraged, but not necessary.  Please provide an email address or contact info or download the information form and fill out one for each child.

Really big button to download the parent/guardian information form

Student seating is limited to 10 seats per class, so sign up early!  A $40 deposit is required to reserve your seat.  The programs will be held in the meeting room at the Best Western, Sioux Lookout

You can pay right here online using the convenient paypal link down below, or sign up by contacting Ian through email: or telephoning toll-free at 1-877-532-9160 and hit “1” when you get the menu.

Introduction to electronics course - Sioux Lookout, ON workshops

ian-e1427728396691Your instructor, Ian Juby, has taught science and technology for 32 years. A robotics engineer by trade with an ambition for life-long learning, he has taught thousands of people from ages 8 to 65 at a premiere summer science camp as well as the high school and collegiate level. 

Robot Gripper Project:

Suitable for pretty much any age group from about grade 7 up, depending on how much preparation work you do beforehand. It can be made from a variety of materials such as cardboard with round toothpicks, to wood, plastic even metal and bolts. The choice is yours. Simply cut out the following parts and assemble them as shown. For the drive mechanism, a two 3cc syringes connected by 1/8″ I.D. plastic tubing and filled with water to act as hydraulic cylinders works well. As a high-tech alternative, servo motors from remote controlled cars could be used controlled by a computer using the printer port. For information on that, visit the “projects” area of the Hila science camp and research center at http:\\\


Cut out four outer finger pieces, 2 cm X 13 cm. Mark out your hole centers approximately 1 cm in from each end. The important thing in all of the parts is not so much where you place the holes for the hinge points, but that the holes are spaced exactly apart from each other. On this piece, the two holes need to be exactly 11 cm apart. If you are making this out of cardboard and using toothpicks for your hinges, just mark the spots and poke your toothpicks through there. If you are making it out of other materials, drill the holes an appropriate size for the bolts you will be using.


Cut out 2 toggle fingers, again 2 cm X 13 cm. Mark out three holes, starting at one end approximately 1 cm in and the second hole spaced 5 cm from that one, the third spaced 11.5 cm from the first one.

Cut out two grippers, 5 cm by 7 cm. Mark out two holes, 1 cm in from one side and spaced exactly 2.5 cm apart. If you are using wood, plastic, or metal you can use a hacksaw to make hatch marks as shown. This adds grip to the gripper.

Cut out a wrist base, 13 cm X 5 cm. Mark out your first hole, 1 cm in from the front, 1.5 cm in from the left. Mark out your next three holes from that one at 2.5 cm, 7.5 cm and 10 cm.

Cut out 2 toggle members, 5.5 cm X 2 cm. Mark your first hole on the length wise centerline at 1 cm in, and your second hole 3.5 cm from that one.

Lastly, cut out your actuator piece, at least 3 or four cm long and drill a hole in the end, centered, 1 cm in.

Put together the whole assembly as shown. Each outside finger is a pair of fingers, one mounted on the top of the assembly, the other underneath. The two toggle fingers are on the inside top. Notice the two toggle members are stacked, on on top of one finger, the other on the bottom of the other finger, with your actuator sandwiched in between the two.


To operate, merely move the actuator forward and back! You can operate it with a pair of syringes and tubing or you can mount and use a remote control car servo motor and control it by your computer. Visit the Hila science camp web site to see how to control the servo via your computer. Hila also has a rather large bank of educational ideas you can do.
Hila home page

Fun family fossil dig!

Fossils are surprisingly common in the Ottawa Valley and often very easy to get, you just need to know where and how to look. Rock cuts are fabulous places to check, and especially along highway 17 right beside the Muskrat river at the bottom of Meath hill there are several fabulous limestone rock cuts that are just plastered with fossils. Check it out and see if you can find the fossilized Coral Reef in the rock cut – then ask yourself a question: “How did this Coral Reef get here?”
There is no ocean for quite a few many miles from this site, yet here is coral. Leftovers from a global flood perhaps?

The shoulder of a busy highway is a LOUSY place to do a fossil hunt with a family. I am looking for someone in the Pembroke area who might be willing to host a family fun-dig for fossils. All you need is a limestone shelf. If you have rock on your property that looks something the colour of concrete, you probably have limestone. A small cliff would be perfect, or a really secluded rock cut is by far the best.

For more information or to volunteer your limestone shelf, drop me an email at ianjuby[@] (removest though the [ ]’s)

The effects of pink light on life…

Currently, we as human beings are stressed out (gee, it takes a genius to figure that one out). Here’s why: Looking at diagram #1, you see a schematic diagram of the synopses of our nerves. There is currently a gap in each synapse which must be jumped electrically for our nerve signals to reach the brain, or transmit within the brain.

When you look at pink, (specifically in the shade of magenta), your brain secretes a substance called norepineferin, a neurotransmitter. This substance travels down the nerve cells, crossing the gap in our synopses allowing for much freer neurotransmission. The end result is faster mental capabilities and relaxation. It also can have serious impact on depression, ADD, and a host of other disorders.

There are several experiments that can be conducted:

-the effects of pink on neurotransmission based on mathematical ability
-the effects of pink on ADD, depression, and other mental / emotional disorders
-the effects of pink on plant growth

The effects of pink on neurotransmission

A simple experiment to conduct, a specific age group (such as younger children) with a wide assortment of “guinea pigs” is tested with some simpler to slightly complex math questions. Several different types of math sheets with various forms and complexities of math questions should be used. Several subjects should be tested on the sheets to determine average results of how long it takes to complete the sheet and how accurate the average individual answers the questions. These results would be your comparison results.

The next phase of the experiment is conducted in much the same manner except the tested subjects are either wearing pink tinted glasses, working in a pink environment (such as a small room with pink tinted windows), or even possibly just using pink paper (the neon pink paper works best) to print the math questions on.
The results are compared with the non-pink environment results to determine any effect.
As you can imagine, the hardest part is merely coming up with math questions of similar complexity, the rest is just footwork and organisation. In one very crude form of this experiment I conducted a couple of years ago, I was nothing less than stunned by the results. I do recall one girl cutting her math time to one eighth her original time for complex math questions.
If you are interested in conducting this experiment or one like it, e-mail me and I’ll give more detailed suggestions or may even be able to provide some math question sheets for the experiment to save space on this web page.

To study the effects of pink on ADD, depression, and other mental or emotional disorders:

It would be preferred that a professional phsychologist perform this kind of study, but if you’re interested, e-mail me and can provide some suggestions.
I can’t divulge details and I’d certainly not encourage anyone to do what I did (You had to have been there, I was desperate and had almost no options), but I personally used a different technique of triggering norepineferin production by a change in diet, and wound up watching it correct extreme schizophrenic halucinations in a friend of mine – within 6 hours! I was so caught up in the stress at the time I didn’t realize it worked until two days later.
Anyways, if you are a researching psychologist or psychiatrist interested in doing studies in this area (or have already – let me know the results please!), or you suffer from things like ADD or dyslexia and wish to experiment with the effects of pink light, e-mail me and I can give you more details. I really wouldn’t recommend experimenting without professional guidance of some kind though.

To study the effects of pink light on plants

Apparently botanists have found that plants grow best under pink light. I’d like to verify that by experimentation on numerous types of plants. There are other methods of plant growth encouragement I’d like to incorporate as well.
The experiment is simple; using pink plexiglass or plastic, shield your plant from normal light and allow it to experience lots of or only pink light. Have a second plant in the exact same environment but in regular light. Watch them grow! E-mail me and let me know how your experiment went!

Consultants Wanted!

Are you a research scientist or engineer who might be willing to take part in volunteer research? Read here and sign up!

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