Last week we joined our Fourth Grade Buddies in the Science room for a little experiment. Mrs. Ferguson shared a YouTube video describing simple circuit design using the materials found in a common flashlight. Next, we gave each buddy group one battery, two wires, and one small light bulb. Let the Mad Science begin!
At first, the children basically copied the experiment found on the video. However, we weren’t going to let them stop there! Mrs. Ferguson, Mrs. Pless and I wandered around the room provoking questions and probing for hypotheses. Once the partners began posing their own questions, idea beget idea and the possibilities became endless.
Before returning to our own classrooms, we asked both grades to share a little about the activity. Here are some of the responses:
- If you put on light bulbs on the battery, it will work.
- You need a wire, a bulb and a battery to make it work. The wire has to touch the bottom.
- When the wire circle isn’t closed, it’s an open circuit.
- If you use five batteries, the light bulb burns out.
- You put two candles[on top and the light works.
- We put four batteries and the bulb didn’t burn out.
- [Why is part of the wire yellow and the other silver?] Yellow is insulation. It keeps the energy in so that the wire doesn’t get hot.