More than half of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
4th Graders Get Creative with Small Motors
My students need 30 small electric motors, 2 sets of jumper leads (wire with alligator clips on each end) and a pack of batteries to make a motorized toy to learn about electric circuits.
Learn about electric circuits in a fun and creative way! Why should learning about electricity be just a jumble of wires and batteries? We want to do a science project that has a purpose! Students will use the requested materials to make a Jitterbug, a motorized toy.
My students are an inquisitive group of 4th graders from a disadvantaged area of South Dakota.
They don't have much at home to play with, in fact, some of them only received one present for Christmas and that wasn't a toy! It would be wonderful for them to learn the science of electricity AND have a toy they could keep to do more experiments at home. After they made one Jitterbug toy they would be able to apply that knowledge to making other toys using the materials they have. What better way to keep science alive in their minds?
My students will be making a Jitterbug, a motorized toy, using a small electric motor attached to a AA battery using a mini jumper lead (wire with alligator clips at each end). This circuit will be mounted on an old CD disk using duct tape. An old eraser will be attached to the shaft of the motor to add an off center weight. They will use their creative powers and the pipe cleaners, feathers, googly eyes and other craft materials I have to make it all look like a bug's body. When the circuit is complete the Jitterbug will hop around due to the off center weight.
My students will learn about electricity and creating a complete circuit allowing the electricity to flow and making the bug bounce. At the end of the project they will take the Jitterbug home IF they can give me a plan about how they are going to apply what they learned to something new. They will share what they accomplished with the class so there can be further learning for the class and the student.
This project in science using electricity is important because it is a unit in 4th grade science that is often neglected because of lack of resources such as wire, batteries, and motors to make it meaningful for students.
You have to learn by doing in this unit! Most of all, if students can create a plan for further learning with the materials (which I can't imagine them not), they will be able to keep the materials. I am excited for them to bring their new project back to share with the class.
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