NVCS Welcomes NASA to Our Summer Camp
"It felt SHOCKING!"
The NVCS summer camp was so lucky to have NASA come in last Wednesday to present on electrons, electricity, and charge. The campers were excited to be talking about electricity and immediately bombarded our presenter with questions about chargers, WiFi, and how electricity works.
After a brief explanation, the presenter showed us a Van de Graaf generator, which generates electricity through a rubber band that accumulates in a big metal ball. "What if the rubber band breaks?" asked a camper. "Can you replace it?" The presenter laughed and said he had broke his rubber band yesterday, and yes, it can be replaced.
The presenter turned on the generator and then posed the question, "What's going to happen if I touch it?" Excitedly, the children suggested he might get a shock, the generator might heat up, or maybe the generator will explode! When the presenter put his hand on the generator, the children broke out into delighted applause.
For his next trick, our presenter said, "When I'm on the ground, the electricity goes through me to the ground. If I'm not on the ground, what will happen?" The presenter stood on a stool and touched the generator-- and his hair started to float! The presenter explained that because the electricity couldn't be released through the ground, it spread out through his body, including his hair. Then, he slowly placed one foot off the stool and onto the ground and everybody could hear the buzz as the electricity traveled through his toes into the floor.
Finally, it was time for our campers to test out the generator for themselves. Led by Noah, the campers lined up to stand on the stool and feel the electric charge. Although some were nervous at first, they all seemed to have fun. The children stood on the stool and put their hand on the generator, and suddenly their hair started to fly up! And that wasn't everything: Next, the presenter demonstrated that because people conduct electricity, if one person touches the generator and then touches another person, both people will feel a sudden shock. Everyone was very eager to try this out.
Afterwards, the children said touching the generator was a good experience. "It felt SHOCKING!" said Aliyah. "Our hair went up!"
"It felt a bit like a marble hitting my thumb," said Sophie. Both agreed that it was really cool to watch and feel. It seems like everyone enjoyed their NASA presentation!
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