The Story of the Atom: Unit 3 - The Origin of Electricity

The Story of the Atom: Unit 3 - The Origin of Electricity


Schedule: This is a Self-Paced Course
Grade Span: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

  • About This Course

    Who really understands electricity? 


    Well, it exists and it can be created in many ways, so someone must! It is essentially this logic which guides the flow of this course. Students study where it exists and students build devices which create it. From here, they are challenged to build airtight theories which explain precisely what it must be. 


    We start with the surprisingly complex phenomena of static electricity. (This is a wonderful phenomena for students to really develop the skill of theory-building. Establishing a solid theory which explains all of the laboratory experiments students perform is actually quite an interesting challenge!) 


    Then, students journey through the amazing sequence of events leading to the invention of the battery, this remarkable device which actually allows us to “store” and control electricity. 


    Out of these experimental investigations, students continue to refine theories with the objective of fully grasping the origin of the electricity.

  • Prerequisites

    • Solving for one unknown in an algebraic equation. Ideally, students should have taken or be currently enrolled in pre-algebra or algebra. 

    • Proficiency with graphing. Students can determine a scale for coordinate axes and properly draw and label axes

    • Familiarity with the scientific method and the ability to design simple experiments

    • Ability to collect and record data

    • Ability to maintain an orderly and safe space for small lab experiments.

  • How a Self-Paced Course Works

    Students advance through a series of really interesting labs. Each lab goes like this:


    • Kid takes materials out of a box 

    • Kid watches a 3-minute video

    • Kid runs a 10-30-minute lab. (Kid is pumped up!)

    • Kid does a lab write-up and a little problem set for quick feedback 

    • Kid notches a win, has brand new knowledge, and moves to the next lab! 


    In addition, there are bonus videos and readings and even a problem set designed to deepen an intuitive understanding of the topics.