During the second trimester, our fourth graders learned how electricity works in the world! The first experiment they worked on was wiring simple circuits. Students were able to build and test simple circuits; they learned how to make a lightbulb turn on with specific materials such as a battery, a battery holder, wires, a lightbulb socket, and a lightbulb. Once they mastered the order of the materials, they were able to build a simple switch that successfully operated a light bulb.
Next, we put our knowledge to the test while expanding on learned concepts. They learned how simple circuits worked. Now they are going to see how motors operate in the next experiment. They took what they learned from the light switch and applied it to the next experiment. They created their own brushbots by using a toothbrush, lithium batteries, motors, wires, adhesive tape, and pipe cleaners.
There were a ton of trial and errors when creating the brushbots, but I reminded the students that it is part of science and do not feel discouraged if it does not work on the first try. This is where I wanted to teach them the concept of not giving up after a failed experiment and with all the trials and errors, they were able to learn from the mistakes and perfect their brushbots.
Before they created their brushbots, they needed to work together to create battle arenas for their brushbots. This was a perfect time for the fourth graders to show off their creativity and artsy side as they created four masterpieces of battle arenas. Our fourth graders displayed great teamwork and collaboration.
Once the kids showed their brushbots could operate successfully, they were able to have their battles. While some choose to battle, others decided they just wanted to see how far their brushbots could travel. So they explored the hallways of lower school. Their brushbots traveled far in the halls and they even got a chance to watch their bots travel down a ramp! The fourth graders knew they needed to preserve the battery in the brushbots so they could use them at home. The fourth graders were able to take their brushbots home and show them off to their parents.
They were thrilled to be working on the electric unit and cannot wait to start on the bird unit in the third trimester.