During morning playtime, some the students began experimenting with a toy called the “energy stick“. The stick is clear, a little over seven inches long, and has electrodes on either ends. When both ends are held simultaneously, the LED lights begin to glow and music begins to play. When one end is released, the lights and sounds stop immediately.
The students have spent many days taking turns holding the instrument so that they personally make it perform. However, today, the students quickly noticed that if if two different people hold the ends of the stick, it fails to light up. “Why doesn’t it work” some of them exclaimed. “Maybe it’s broken” another child suggested. Just then, the two people holding either ends of the stick accidentally brushed their free hands on one another and it began working again! Was it magic? Did the batteries start working again?
We decided to do some experimenting at morning meeting. Each child grabbed the hands of the two friends standing next to them while two friends held the energy stick. As the last two friends grabbed hands, the energy stick turned on and excitement erupted in the classroom! Next, we tried having two friends hold the energy stick while Mrs. Forst touched their noses which also proved successful. Lastly, we tried having two friends hold the stick and then touch foreheads, however, the stick did not light up until the students used their hands.
After our experiments, we asked the students why the energy stick was able to light up when the whole class held hands, but turned off when one pair of friends let go. These were their answers:
O.A. – Maybe we are an electric line.
J.W.- We were holding hands and and when we were taking off the hands it was going off.
A.R. – Us holding hands made it turn on.
S.M. – Maybe we paid the electric bill.
E.S. – Its called a circuit! It’s when wires go in a circle. I learned that at the Children’s Museum.
S.B. – We were the wires.
D.K. – It doesn’t make sense because we weren’t holding any wires.
Mrs. Forst – What makes the lights in our room work?
Class – Wires.
T.O. – Electricity it is something that makes lights turn on and if you turn it on lots of times during the day it can burn out some electricity. It doesn’t make turn on because there is no light switch.
Our class can’t wait to begin exploring and doing more research to answer our questions about electricity, circuits, and so much more!