There’s a good chance you or someone in your family has a computer, cell phone, tablet, or some other kind of electronic device. Notice that word: “electronic.” It tells you that these devices use electrons to work. Sometimes electrons don’t move but build up in huge numbers. That’s static electricity and with this kit, you’ll discover more about it using your homemade Static Bottle. Moving electrons travel through conductors and are stopped by insulators and the Energy Stick identifies one from the other. The Energy Stick also tells when a circuit is complete when multiple liquids are connected by electron bridges. There are a lot of challenges to take on and discoveries to make when electrons are involved!
The kit comes with the essential materials you’ll need to conduct many experiments, take-it-further activities and challenges for 1 – 4 children per kit. You’ll also receive two instruction guides – one for the scientist and a top secret document for the adult science helper. The easy to follow step-by-step instructions guide the learner through the scientific method while providing open-ended activities to promote further learning. The adult helper’s top secret document contains the science explanation behind all of the experiments and answers to all of the science questions. Best of all, you’ll receive helpful tips and suggestions for ways to work with your child to create an unforgettable learning experience. Recommended for children ages 7 and up with adult supervision.
What Does It Teach?
In a fun way, this kit presents the foundation kids need to get a better idea of just what electrons – electricity – really are and how to control them whether they’re stationary or moving. Everyday experiences with static charges like uncooperative hair, a blue spark from a door knob, and sparkles between a sheet and a blanket start to make sense because of a balloon, a plastic bottle, and Styrofoam beads. The idea of an electrical circuit is presented in several fun ways that show electrons move in a closed circuit and are stopped in an open circuit. The proof comes from a simple device called an Energy Stick that flashes and buzzes when a circuit is complete. Who knows? This could be the start of a career in electronics.
Science Fair Connections
To develop a science fair project, you need to identify and test variables. A variable is something you change that might alter the results of the experiment. A valid test keeps everything else the same except the single variable being tested. Here are some examples of variables you could test with the Electric Test Tubes activity:
- A plain liquid other than water may be a better conductor and improve the reaction of the Energy Stick. Determine what it might be.
- A material dissolved in the liquid, e.g. salt, sugar, baking soda, etc., might effect the reaction. Use the procedure to determine the material that best improves the results.
- Use the procedure to determine the ideal amount of a dissolved material (its concentration) needed to improve the results.
- It could be that the temperature of the liquid makes a difference in how the Energy Stick reacts to the test. Determine that ideal temperature.
- Do all of these tests independently to positively identify the ultimate method to achieve a reaction from the Energy Stick using the Electric Test Tubes activity.
Come up with your own variable to test and go claim that First Place prize!