Friday, June 13, 2014

Science: Physics (Part 2)

Viva loves science. She is very hands on. Jake likes it well enough. Bentley is the least enthused about science, but he enjoys most of the experiments we do.

Chapter 6: Electricity
Experiment 6: Sticky Balloons
Electricity comes from electrons as they move from atom to atom transferring from one item to another. To demonstrate this principle we used balloons. The trio rubbed their balloons against different objects (their head, a wooden desk, an aluminum cookie sheet, a wool sweater, etc.) and then they stuck the balloon on the wall and observed how long it stayed on the wall. The longer it stuck the more electrons that had been transferred. Unfortunately for us, everything in the house had a high electron transfer rate--our home is too dry and static electricity was everywhere and on everything. Although this experiment did not work well, the trio loved playing with the balloons.


Chapter 7: Moving Electrons
Experiment 7: Moving Electrons
This lesson was about insulators and conductors. Instead of making a lemon battery (as the manual suggested) we used Opa's voltmeter to see which objects were good conductors (metal) and which objects were poor conductors (plastics).

Chapter 8: Magnets
Experiment 8: Magnet Poles
Magnetic force is caused by spinning electrons. Magnets have opposite poles. In the experiment portion of the lesson we played with magnets which is always fun. (It would have been nice to have some really strong magnets.)

Chapter 9: Light and Sound
Experiment 9: Splitting Light
Sound is a wave of moving air molecules. Light is an electromagnetic wave. Electromagnetic waves are a tough concept. First we tried exploring the nature of waves by playing with water in the bathtub. It's hard to create a whirlpool! Then we used a light prism to split sunlight into its different colored wavelengths. We had a hard time with this experiment. We could not find enough strong sunlight (it was a cloudy day!) to get a good split of light into all the colors. We managed a few faint rainbows, but that's all. We could not get a flashlight to split light through the prism. Not the best experiment.

Chapter 10: Saving Energy
Experiment 10: Playing with Physics
Energy is neither created or destroyed; it is converted from one form to another. Another difficult experiment. All four of us tried and tried, but no one could build a card house. I tried different decks of cards. It was aggravating. Finally I used thin cardboard to build the house over the dish of vinegar. We were not able to get the baking soda to drop into the dish even when we did manage to knock the house down. This experiment was not well designed.

Although the last few experiments in the physics course were not to our liking, we enjoyed the other experiments. The lessons were very well written with some good information, but so much it overwhelmed young minds.

No comments: