Energize your next unit on electricity with hands-on activities to explain the fascinating phenomenon of electromagnetism. Students are introduced to the factors that determine the strength of electrical coils, and they use readily available materials to build a simple motor and a generator. Topics covered include circuit breakers, mag-lev trains, and superconducting generators.
Charging Ahead: An Introduction to Electromagnetism is a set of hands-on activities designed to help teachers introduce middle-level and general high school students to electromagnetism, one of the most fascinating and life-changing phenomenon humankind has witnessed. In 1820, Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish physicist and schoolteacher, discovered that an electrical current produces magnetism. Little did he know that his discovery would have an impact on modern day lives in profound ways: that electrical motors would start cars, turn CDs and disk drives, run can openers, food processors, refrigerators, and clocks, operate pumps for maintaining life support, and run nearly all of the machines that produce and manufacture the many goods upon which we rely. Little did he know that this connection between electricity and magnetism would lead others (Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry) to discover ways of creating electricity from motion and magnetism and in so doing make it possible for human beings the world over to move about, heat and light their environments, and instantly and conveniently communicate.
Charging Ahead uses readily available materials to introduce students to electromagnetism, to the factors that determine the magnetic strength of electrical coils, to the application of electromagnetism in the construction of an electrical motor, and to the production of electricity through the construction of a generator. Throughout Charging Ahead, students are introduced to historical perspectives and to technological applications (circuit breakers, mag-lev trains, superconducting generators, etc.) of electromagnetism.