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Science teacher needing ideas

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posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 04:19 PM
Kids like to make things that can fly. The 'Lifter' is one such thing, it works and can be made out balsa and foil and wire, this is but one link.

There is a caveat, in that it involves high energy electric current as demonstrated here, (there are more sophisticated versions than that example)

The kids role should be in the building of the craft, then seeing it fly on a tether.

More detail here,

edit on 3-12-2012 by smurfy because: Link.

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 12:38 AM
reply to post by smurfy

"Lifters" (aka EHD Thrusters) are brilliant and quite something to see in action. They utlilize the Biefeld-Brown effect. I built one some years ago. (About two hours work all told and the equivalent of less than £2 for the parts.)

However as Smurfy pointed out about, these things use very high voltage -- it'll take perhaps 20 k/volts to get one off the ground -- so you need to be very careful. Most important: this is not something for kids to try unless they are very carefully supervised.

Also, to even out the "lift" so it doesn't jerk around too much, it's good to use a resistor in series. I used one rated at 180 k ohms, if I recall correctly.

The site run by French researcher J-L Naudin is also a good resource for this, and includes replication projects sent in from all over the world: The Lifters Experiments Home Page by JL Naudin

There are some videos on his site and also plans and full details of how they're made and so forth.

posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 02:51 PM

Originally posted by PeggyDee
This is Cody's wife again, just opened my own account because the suggestions and replies are coming in thick and fast and hubby is out the bath now. Thank you for all the great suggestions, and website links.

I am not trying to "waste time", what I meant was that the class have worked hard and completed the curriculum requirements for the unit about electricity, and I would rather not start a new scientific topic just before the Christmas break, knowing that the excitement of the holidays and the long break from school would make them forget everything and we would have to start again anyway in January. So instead I would like to use the remaining time in this term to reinforce their understanding of electric circuits. However because they have worked hard and earned the time I would like to do this in fun ways, and hence my original post.

My class is mixed ability with a full range of understanding and interests. Some kids get very excited by certain scientific topics but are bored by others. In this class some came alive when we discussed electricity, but they were the same ones who played up and got bored during studies of germs and disease. I'm hoping by introducing some fun projects into the end of the unit I can inspire and excite those who don't get thrilled by electricity. By including the creative / design aspect I will be able to reach more of my class in different ways.

So having put my point across for the teacher, I now wish to once again thank all those who have made some great suggestions. As a science teacher there are some I have seen before but there are others that are new to me, and I really appreciate the time taken to put them forward. It might take me some time to investigate these suggestions so if I do not reply immediately please understand.

Thanks immensely for the explanation. Upon seeing this referred to in the OP as "time wasting" activities I got a little frustrated. I hated school, never studied or did homework, got all A's and B's, skipped the second grade (went straight to third from first), and never felt challenged (until calculus, but pulling the grade wasn't a challenge, trying to truly understand the material was for me though). All of that to say, I now have two young daughters who are more advanced than most of their peers and I fear that they will not be challenged at all in school and this was the source of the emotion behind my initial reply.

In your above explanation it sounds as though the class had gotten through the material faster than you expected and your using the extra time as somewhat of a reward (by trying to make it fun) and to reinforce concepts and to get other kids interested in electricity (who maybe weren't while you initially covered the material). I missed this from your original posts and I think it's great.

As I said from the beginning, it was clear that you are putting the extra effort in as a teacher, which I appreciate immensely. My rant was against the system as it is structured now, I don't believe in grading teachers on the students test scores, I don't believe in standardized testing, etc, etc, etc. So, I am sorry if I came off priggish, it wasn't intended that way! I was also rude and dismissive of students with learning challenges with all my "dumb" comments, and for that I am also sorry.

Thanks again for all that you do, the world needs more teachers who care


Also, not sure if anyone has mentioned something similar yet - but - with how tiny circuitry is getting now it might be applicable to do some kind of experimentation with a small circuit board to give the kids a sense of what is actually happening on the board (I barely know, electricity is abstract to me!). It would be a very applicable lesson to computing, etc... best of luck...

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