I’ve previously done a workshop for some grade 2 and 3 classes at a friend’s school talking about conductors, and having them build a small flashlight. I’d like to go in again and show them something new – any idea what that could be? I don’t want to go too far over their heads, but I don’t want to bore them either.
As soon as I read this question I immediately thought of Drawdio! This is a fantastic tool that works to bridge the gap between engineering and art…..which seems to be a hot topic lately! By using the pencil graphite as a resistor and your body as a conductor, the built in 555 timer responds by making music while you draw.
This concept is actually one we use in our freshman technology program, where we actually have the students do their series/parallel resistor calculations by drawing on paper with pencils. They then use multimeters to measure the resistance of each “resistor”, connect them in series or parallel, then measure the total resistance……but Drawdio is far cooler.
An alternative project could be to have them make primitive batteries. If you have already introduced them to concepts governing a flashlight, this might be a good segway into how batteries work. I produced a couple of videos awhile back for Monkeysee.com that talked about how to make batteries out of various kitchen items. I test run the labs on a bunch of 6-8th graders and they had a blast!
I hope this helps and have fun with the 2nd and 3rd graders!
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