We have been studying electricity and magnetism this last month. Crazy, given that I knew next to nothing about it. But Jenson is so mechanically-minded, I knew it would be a great subject. While we were just getting started, I mentioned something about it at book club. Low and behold, my friend's father is an engineer, and she volunteered him to help us out.
After weeks of learning about Benjamin Franklin, static electricity, circuits, energy sources, and magnetic fields, we went to visit him for some hands-on teaching. We took our two friends, and had the best time! The photos do not do the experience justice. Mr. Ken was amazing! He was so prepared for us, with all kinds of equipment, giant battery machines, voltmeters, and experiments galore. We made circuits out of nut crackers, screwdrivers, soda cans and copper pipe. We created our own short circuit, made a battery from a lemon, tested sound waves, and experimented with magnets. Ken was so good to let them do everything themselves, and have success through trial and error. He taught them why electricity was cool.
I had brought along various electronics for the kids to "de-construct", an idea I'd seen last year in a Home Education magazine. It was perfect! As the kids took apart old phones, cassette recorders and alarm clocks, they took the various pieces - motors, batteries, switches, light bulbs - into the house to make them work in different ways and become a part of other circuits. I don't think Jenson will ever look at an electronic the same. He will think about all the pieces he knows are in it making it work. He declared yesterday his "best day ever". He came home with greasy hands and hasn't been apart from wires and batteries since. I hope Ken is prepared for an extra grandkid. Jenson would like to be adopted.
This was our favorite homeschool field trip to date. (That is saying something, we have a field trip every Friday!) If we would have had Mady and Misha along too, the day would have been perfect! (We missed you both.)