Brandy and I had the chance to volunteer at Sunday with the Scientists, a program sponsored by the University of Nebraska State Museum. The program allows kids to come and have hands on experiences with science and technology. As you can see from the picture on the left, I worked with the alligator clamps and Lilly Pad technology to teach kids how to make simple circuits. Using alligator clamps, the kids would use a battery to connect to various colored LED lights. For kids who were interested, they were also shown how to make a parallel circuit, and how microchips could be introduced to the circuit to control how the lights operated.
Another activity presented was Squishy Circuits. At this station, kids used conductive dough to light up LED lights. Kids learned about conductive versus insulating materials. The dough functioned as wire, allowing younger kids, especially ones with less find motor skills a hands on experience with circuits.Kids were able to explore how pressing the various types of dough together would either allow the current to flow, or prevent the current from flowing. Batteries were once again used to power the the LED lights, and kids learned the difference between positive and negative power affect the flow of electricity.
As an added bonus, the local news station, KLKN Channel 8, had a reporter on site getting interviews with the kids and even some of the volunteers. You can hear my voice as I explain some of the steps to making the circuit work, and there’s even a clip of video with me in it. It’s great to see the local news stations taking an interest in these events, showing the efforts UNL students are taking to bring real, meaningful educative experiences to students when they’re not in the classrooms.
Check out the video here.