S.T.E.M Afternoon: Circuit Building and Heat Energy Experiments

S.T.E.M. Afternoon

Our lower elementary students worked with our 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Bekas and focused on studying heat energy. Our upper elementary students took a close look at electricity and circuits with our 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Gourley.

In both cases, our students were posed a scientific question and were challenged to solve it using materials and information about their topic provided by the KnowAtom curriculum.

Electricity and Circuits

What fun our students had building circuits using wires, batteries, lightbulbs, cardboard, switches and some tape! After learning about the types of circuits such as: simple, series and parallel circuits our students focused on the question: “How does the amount of current in a circuit change when more light bulbs are added to a series current compared to a parallel current?”

It was amazing to see how adept our students already are at creating a circuit, understanding what a short circuit is and how to operate switches. They discussed how circuits work, what a current is and what things conduct electricity and what insulates it. Ask your student what the results of their experiment were and how they might think differently about the electricity that runs all the appliances and lights in your house.

Heat Energy and Mixtures

Our 2nd graders also had some fun creating mixtures of water and hot chocolate as they explored the question: “Does heat energy affect the speed of Dissolving?”

After collecting materials that included three temperatures of water (cold, room temperature and hot water), our students timed how long the hot chocolate package would take to completely dissolve.

Prior to experimenting, our students discussed what they already know about energy and heat. From there, they created a hypothesis about which temperature water would dissolve the hot chocolate fastest and slowest.

What do you think happened? Was it the hot water that dissolved the hot chocolate the fastest or the cold water? Or perhaps was it the water that was left at room temperature? Ask your child what the results were.

Does your child like to solve problems or experiment? Join us for our next S.T.E.M Afternoon or Saturday. Check out the next dates on the NSCS calendar.