Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Budding Electrical Engineer

Colin filled out a scavenger hunt form and subsequently won the drawing for a prize from the organizer's of Moscow's science fair.  His favorite project in the science fair was an electrical one, so his prize was this box that held all kinds of things needed for electricity experiments.  When he first opened it and saw all the pieces, he said, "this is something my Dad will really like and be good at."  So he organized all the pieces and he and Duane dove into the experiments right after dinner.  They did 17 experiments before it was time for bed.  Duane took the opportunity to teach Colin about circuits, capacitors, resistance, ohms, diodes, and other electrical terms.

Actually this manual had great pictures, diagrams, and explanations of why the experiments work.  Right before Colin went to bed they were doing an experiment on logical circuits, and he read about true/false and open/closed circuits, and binary numbers/codes. He might already understand the binary numbering system, but I had to study the experiment to get it.   I know Colin "gets it" because he talked about the experiments on the way to school Friday morning.  Everything's still on the dining room table, so there will be at least 12 more experiments they'll do together.  I think the last experiment builds a small motor.

I began to wonder when my brothers first learned about electricity.  I know Dad helped out with 4-H programs and taught other kids about electricity.  And I seem to recall that one of my brothers got the "Best of Show" for their electrical entries into the Idaho County Fair.  I wonder if Dad, in his later years, would've had the patience to teach a 7-year-old about such basic elements of electricity that provided a great career for him and his three sons.  No doubt he'd be proud of Colin's effort and understanding.   And this grandma will be proud if there's another electrical engineer in the family!

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