Presented by the ENERCON – NJ NAYGN Chapter
The “Morristown Neighborhood House” welcomed Enercon’s Parsippany office to host a science and engineering event for their 4th graders participating in their afterschool students program.
The event consisted of a class discussion about where electricity and power comes from and how it reaches us. Students were then split into 3 groups and rotated between a mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering stations.
The mechanical engineering station used foam rocket launchers, marshmallow shooters, and model turbines to demonstrate how powerful pressure can be. An anemometer and model turbine were used to demonstrate how the flow of fluid can create a rotary motion.
Meanwhile in the Electrical station, children explored the relationship between magnetism and electricity by building model motors (out of batteries, magnetic coil, and paper clips) which they kept afterwards. This led to an understanding of creating electricity via a rotation as was demonstrated with a model generator.
The third station was the Civil Engineering one where children explored the strength of different support configurations by building marshmallow and toothpick structures which were tested on a seismic table.
After the children went through the three stations, a working water turbine connected to a faucet was used to demonstrate how the three stations are interconnected because the fluid flow creates a rotation (mechanical), which connects to a generator to create electricity (electrical), and the whole platform requires stability and support (civil).
The final demonstration was a working steam engine which acted as a mini power plant to light a bulb. This final station, along with nuclear fuel pellet demonstration samples, were used to bring together how a nuclear power plant works to bring electricity to our homes and schools every day. The children enjoyed the event and left with a better appreciation for power generation and nuclear power in particular.
Pictured left to right: Noani Propst, Isamar Blumberg, Moheb Thomas, Douglas Ehlers, Sally Hanna, Kerstin Gallagher
Great work all! Volunteering our time to help educate the public, especially the next generation, is a noble and fulfilling way to give back to our communities.
P.S. – Our chapter also uses the steam engine/mini power plant, and it’s always a hit with the kids. To any chapter that may be looking for things to bring along for their outreach events, I’d highly recommend investing in one! 🙂