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Science Unit:  Energy Transfer

Our science unit for this marking period is Energy Transfer.  The students will be learning about the different forms of energy focusing on heat, electricity and magnetism.  Below are some activities you can do at home with your child. 


Try This At Home:

1.  Make a home version of a solar cooker and enjoy experimenting with foods to cook.  Try making smores, cooking hot dogs, or other favorite foods.

Materials Needed:  large oatmeal box, wire or wood skewer, scissors, aluminum foil, masking tape, plastic wrap.

Directions:  Tape the lid on the empty oatmeal box.  Cut the box lengthwise in half.  Cover the inside completely with aluminum foil, shiny side up.  Push the skewer through the middle on one end of the box.  Put a hot dog or marshmallow on the skewer.  Push the skewer through the other end of the box.  Cover the solar cooker with plastic wrap and tape closed.  Place it in the sun.  The hot dog will be done in about 3 hours.  Other food items may take less time.

2.  Have your child collect items around the house and predict which ones will attract a magnet.  He/she can create a table to record the predictions and the results.

3.  Your child can make a tight-rope walker by using a magnet.  Have him/her draw and cut out a picture of a person and fasten a needle to the back of the legs with the needle hole at the bottom of the figure.  Put a piece of thread through the needle hole and tie the ends to two chairs.  Have him/her place the chairs so that the thread is tight.  Then ask your child to use a magnet to make the tight-rope walker keep its balance and "walk" across the line of thread.

4.  Have your child make a list of appliances that use electricity (either with batteries or by using plugs).  Look at some of these appliances together and ask your child to identify the necessary parts for a complete circuit.  They should be able to recognize thesource of the electricity which pushes the current through the circuit (a battery or wall socket), a path for the electricity to flow (the wires) and a load (appliance) which uses the electricity in some way to produce heat, light, sound, magnetic properties, or movement.

5.  Discuss with your child the dangers of electricity.