Let’s Play Electricity

Electricity is not an easy topic for grade schoolers. Given a choice between an hour-long lecture and a playful learning activity they always choose the latter. It is great when the fun leads to “Why?” and “How?” questions and further exploration. However, an attempt to poke Mr. Electricity who lives inside a power outlet with a pin or a kebab stick may lead to nothing but regrets.We have developed the app called “How to Make Electricity” designed for such curious kids. You may think of it as a virtual lab where children can get their hands on entertaining and safe experiments with electricity.

Your child is provided with the set of familiar objects which can be used to construct an electric power generator. In the solar power lab children can change the environment conditions and observe how their adjustments affect the output. The generator feeds the load circuit with pluggable items transforming electricity into various useful forms of energy such as light, heat, motion, or sound.

Generator, photovoltaic cell, circuit, load, induction… Children do not know the meanings of all these words. However, kids can interact with objects related to electricity, investigate their properties, and observe scientific phenomena without paying much attention to how adults call it.

It is rather easy to observe the effect of gravity. Just go ahead and drop something! Unlike the gravity, the electrical phenomena are hard to observe directly. We cannot see lightning very often unless we do something odd or funny with our microwave.

The app “How to Make Electricity” helps children to get their initial experience in observations of electrical phenomena. The core value of our app is in the context it provides for the informal learning.

Alexey Leontyev, assistant professor of chemistry at Adams State University, and our scientific advisor in his review explains:

We developed this application utilizing cognitive principles and conditions of leaning relevant for children of age 6-8. Our application uses adapted models of physical phenomena that are comprehensible by children of the aimed age category. For example, chemistry activity in this app represents two levels of the Johnstone’s triangle (particulate and macroscopic). Users can switch between different levels of representations. This allows kids to learn a concept at a deeper level, as well as connect abstract and concrete levels of electricity phenomenon. In addition, it raises awareness that several levels of representation of matter exist. This will prevent kids (who hopefully are future students) from developing misconceptions when studying science at a higher level.

The app “How to Make Electricity” is designed for unstructured learning that often occurs in informal setting. However, parents or teachers could be interested in some sort of guiding materials or scaffolding questions. Free parents’ guide will soon be available on our website and in the Parents zone of our app.

AppStoreDownload the ‘How to Make Electricity‘ app from the App Store.
Download free lite version of the ‘How to Make Electricity’ app.

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