14 December 2007

Electric Bug

The idea sounded simple, and the instructions were clear enough. They involved two short pieces of wire, a flashlight bulb, a C battery, pipe cleaners, and some stiff paper. One piece of wire gets taped to the negative end of the battery and up along the side of the battery; the other piece gets wound around the bulb which then gets taped onto the positive end of the battery. The other ends of the wires stick out the top: antennae; the pipe cleaners and stiff paper get cut down and attached as legs and wings. (I departed from protocol and used duct tape for the wings to match the completely duct-tape-covered battery/body.) The kid is supposed to touch the two antennae to various household objects and see if the "nose" lights up to learn about conductivity.

How hard can it be?

How hard can it be to get the rounded bottom of the flashlight bulb to stay aligned with the round protrusion from the top of the battery?

With a kid poking and prodding and asking if it's done yet?

Well, it's done. The bulb is wiggly, but it is possible to wiggle it back into place. The conductivity testing part of the project was over in minutes and I found the thing lying around on the kitchen floor this morning.

This is why I don't home-school.