Saturday, February 11, 2012

Electricity 2.08.12

I was really sick on Mon so I moved this weeks class to Thurs.

Even though there are a few years difference in the boy’s ages they are both taking Physics; O is in Physics 1 and BJ is in Physics 2.  I mentioned earlier at the beginning of the school year. To make the classes go more smoothly while teaching them both I went through the NOEO lesson plan and had rearranged the order so that the boys would be studying the same parts of Physics at the same time whenever possible. That worked out really well for the most part, but there were times when it doesn't work.

I felt bad when BJ would have web sites to go to that I thought would be great for O as well, but O had things in his lesson plan that he had to get done and there was no time left for him to go to the sites. Then a couple of weeks ago I made a little change in our lessons to allow for that. Now if BJ is covering something that I think O will benefit from we just stop and go join BJ.

This week I took it a step further and we ended up having a fabulous time in school. BJ had several fun experiments with electricity to do so we all did them together.

The first experiment was a simple one involving static electricity. Using two balloons and wool we created friction which excited the electrons and the protons in the balloon and observed the balloons now repelled each other.


 We began the other electrical experiments by first taking a good look at the different kinds of batteries. With the exception of the 9 volt the others were 1.5 V even though they were all different sizes.

The next couple of experiments dealt with complete circuits and power.
What happens when you complete a circuit?

 What happens when you add another battery and double the power?
What makes good conductors; paper, paperclip, glass, spoon, wood, rubber band?

While BJ was going through this list of things to test O was experimenting on his own, unbeknownst to us. I was not really tracking as I was caught up in BJ. All of a sudden O  makes an exclamation, we look around and he has taken bits and pieces of wire, connectors and a light, created his own circuit and lit the light bulb!!

This led into our next discussion about insulators.
We had created electrical circuits, but we did not get shocked. Electricity ran through metal but not wood, paper, plastic. How would that benefit us? How could we use it? Where would we want to be during an electrical storm?

From here we used the information that metal is a conductor to create a very simple circuit board from aluminum and cardboard.

The electrical current travels through the aluminum and lights the bulb.

The next experiment was just for fun. BJ made a one eyed monster.

We experimented using a paperclip as a switch. By opening it and having a wire attached to each side the circuit would close and light the light when the paperclip was pressed down to touch the metal.

Creating an electromagnet was interesting. It did not work at first, but when it did the boys got so excited.
The side effect though was the 9 volt battery got really, really hot!!
The last experiment was another fun one. I had bought a little robo bug kit. The boys put it together. When complete you turn it on, it buzzes and the vibration it creates moves it across the floor.

Can't wait till next week!

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