The devices on these pages demonstrate how individual pinball machine components work. But taken a step further they can also be used to explain some fundamental principles of science and technology. Topics that might seem intimidating, tedious or irrelevant may for some become more compelling when explained in the context of a large, tangible and entertaining pinball machine.
The lessons that follow are intended to give the reader a taste of, or curiosity about the underlying science and technology, to make the topics less mysterious and a little easier to understand, and to encourage those who take interest to pursue more comprehensive sources in class, at the library or online.
This website include short lessons that use pinball machine parts to explain scientific principles.
|Switches and electric current||Switches and electric current|
|Solenoids, relays and electromagnetism||Solenoids, relays and electromagnetism|
|Flippers, coils and power||Flippers, coils and power|
|Electromagnets and acceleration||Electromagnets and acceleration|
|Chimes, vibrations and pitches||Chimes, vibrations and pitches|
|Testing Solenoid Strength||Solenoid strength test|
Interactive learning opportunities are also available.
|Pinball Engineering Workshop||The Pinball Engineering workshop is a hands on exploration of many of the devices used in pinball machines and how they work.|
|EM Pinball Repair and Restoration class||The Electromechanical Pinball Repair and Restoration class is a deep dive into understanding, repairing and troubleshooting electromechanical pinball machines.|
The EM Pinball Online Repair Clinic is a periodic video conference that gives you an opportunity to discuss specific issues you're having with your game with experienced troubleshooters, or to watch while other folks' game problems are sorted out.
Studying complete designs is another good way to understand how simple components work together to behave in complex ways.
|Game Design example||Visit the game design example to understand how parts of The Puzzle from the Games page work in detail.|
Here are some ideas to try if you're building your own PinBox 3000 or similar game.
|Cardboard Pinball Pop Target instructions||Cardboard Pinball Pop Target instructions|
|Scoring and sound system||Scoring and Sound system|