photo by Patti Quilling

Students in Mrs. McDaniel’s 4/5 multi-age class at Whittier have been studying magnetism and electricity. Working with their Science Alliance scientist Dave Kupperman, a retired Argonne Laboratory scientist, they conducted a number of experiments demonstrating the properties of magnetism and electricity and how they are interrelated.

Dr. Kupperman told the students “the earth is a magnet” as they experimented with a battery to show how the magnetic north and south poles of the earth pull a compass needle. The students also learned how a manual flashlight works: spinning a magnet inside by squeezing the handle creates electricity. As a final experiment, Dr. Kupperman asked the students to stand in a circle around the room. Each student held an end of a copper tube with her neighbor, so that there was a complete circuit around the circle which then powered a small light bulb. In this way, the students act as electrical conductors because of the water inside their bodies.

Be sure to check out this slideshow of photos by Patti Quilling.