Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Electric Info: Electricity -- and How Different Types Work

After thumbing through The Dangerous Book for Boys and Totally Irresponsible Science, Dane decided he wanted to demonstrate how electricity works. So, this year, he and his buddy Nic teamed up for their Science Fair project. They made up separate boards for their presentations, but their boards were both focused on the three types of electricity. That means they did their experiments/demonstrations together, but then made sense of them on their own.

One project was about static electricity, demonstrated with salt and pepper in a pie tin. Each kid then rubbed a plastic spoon in their hair or against a wool sock, and the charged spoon attracted the pepper.

For their second type of electricity, they demonstrated the DC of AC/DC familiarity. For this, they created a battery cell where a direct current briefly lit up a tiny light bulb as the copper wires, quarters, blotting paper, foil, vinegar, and salt worked their science. (I was going to write 'magic' there, but that could be a little misleading.) 

For the final part of their project, the boys put a blue box together and demonstrated how electricity with Alternating Current would work when plugged into a wall and a power source.
After hours and hours of evening and weekend work, the board was done. Dane particularly liked drawing and diagramming and doing the layout.
Above, Dane meets with one of the judges (his teacher, Nancy!) and discusses different aspects of his project with her. It was exciting to listen to his main points and to hear what he'd learned about his topic.


Anonymous said...

Alternating, AC/DC and static. You'll just have to explain the three types of electricity you and Nick put on display. Great job and research, boys.
Grammy/ Mrs. R.

Anonymous said...


AWESOME project!

I noticed you used salt in two of the experiments. What does salt have to do with electricity? It wasn't attracted by the static in the first one but was part of the materials in the second.

The board looks very scientific. Everything is in perfect order. The diagrams and printing are neat and clean-looking, and the experiments are defined and separated by the color-coding. Excellent job!

Bet you and Nic had a great time learning together.

Keep up the good work.


KUrlie said...

Great job, Dane!
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Hi Dane,
I'm totally intereested in electriity and batteries. When we come visit you very soon, I'm looking forward to having you show us your project. It looks techinical and complicated and I'll bet you learned a lot from it.