Friday, February 17, 2017

a bit of show and tell

I’m no song and dance man but I can handle a show and tell occasionally. This month a few classes of fourth and fifth graders experienced my show and tell.

fourth graders that enjoyed my show and tell

One of our teaching daughters asked me to talk to fourth graders doing a science unit on electricity. (oh if you are new to the blog or forgot, my career was electrical engineering)

My presentation theme was common things that utilize Faraday’s electromagnetic induction discovery. His discovery demonstrates the strong connection between electricity and magnetism. Years later, a Scottish scientist, James Maxwell, formulated Faraday’s discovery into the electromagnetic theory.

First I showed them a steel ball accelerator made from strong magnets. I built it from watching youtube videos. Then I showed how a wire coil can trap a small magnet (or piece of metal).

Lastly, I turned on a few of the simple small motorized gadgets/toys I’ve made and let them dance around. Motors and generators are all based on electromagnetic theory. (see my youtube channel for examples of my gadgets)

When I first read the schedule (4 different 4th grade classes) I noticed some down time between two of my demos. I asked my daughter where I should hang out. It wasn’t long before she asked me if I would spend that time with a fifth grade math class and play “Beat the Engineer”. Those kids are quick with their math skills. I’m sure they enjoyed beating me at the math games.

hoping the wires don't break

Experimenting with various electrical/electronic components has been even more fun as a hobby than it was as a student or employee. No pressure of deadlines. Watching something I built or even partially built work is always a thrilling joy. My show and tell reminded of the good feeling that comes from sharing knowledge.

Thinking of dancing, we enjoy watching our little granddaughter swinging to the beat. (note there is no sound)


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