My Flashlight’s Broken! What Now?

September 25, 2021

My Flashlight’s Broken! 

Grade 4 students at Chicago Jewish Day were recently challenged to determine why a group of flashlights were not working. Using some wires, a light bulb, and batteries, they were able to identify that all of these materials need to be connected in a circuit in order to light the bulb. But is there only one way to build a circuit? With help from the Makey Makey, one of our mobile makerspace tools, the students continued their investigation of electricity and magnetism to understand different types of circuits. Students connected the Makey Makey to a computer and followed a set of inquiry-based challenges to discover how surprising materials like bananas and even the human body can be used as conductors of electricity. They were able to use these materials to play the bongos on their computer and even type. Soon the students will build on this understanding to see how magnets are connected to electricity and eventually build their own electromagnetic device.