May 25, 2018
We brought back the popular electricity unit this Friday. SnapCircuits Jr. kits were available to all who wanted to safely learn about electronics and using electrical energy to turn on lights or power up speakers and fans.
Students learned how to use a digital multimeter to sort good batteries from used ones.
We explained that the electric current produces a magnetic field: students noticed the deviation from the true north on the compass when it was close to a running electric circuit.
Connecting batteries, wires and LED lights, we experimented with electrical conductivity by passing the current through various materials (e.g. a metal bowl, a wooden table).
Students tested motors from Tinkering Labs connected to batteries. We then connected the motors to the multimeter and measured the generated electrical current by mechanically rotating the motor shaft. The voltage went up to about 0.68V—we generated power!
We discussed various ways humans generate power by moving the motor (electrical generator) with the help of water, wind, and steam.
Finally, children made their own colorful paper pinwheels to take home.
Watch: A great episode from ScienceMax on electricity generation.
Make: Make a pinwheel.