1st grade science experiment question...


Joined Nov 23, 2012
...and I'm enjoying this site~~ thanks for making it a fun 'first' post:)
My son is about 13 years older than your son. He surprised me one day when he wrote his college entrance essays and explained why he wanted to become an engineer. I'll never forget one section. He said, "one day my dad brought home a bag of batteries, light bulbs, motors and wires. He showed me how to make a circuit to light up a bulb with the wires and battery. From that day on, he knew there was an explanation to how everything worked. Before that day, a flash light was a mystery and magical."

I never knew it made such an impact. I hope your son remembers this experience as well.

Back to your question...
You can describe the battery like a car (or bicycle) running fine on a flat road (nothing connected to a battery). Then the light bulb is like a small hill that slows the car slightly and the motor is like a bigger hill that slows the car or bicycle more.

You can also try talking about the three bears story and then ask him what he thinks is happening to the battery with nothing, the bulb and the motor - then see how he describes it.

By the way, thanks for sharing this story with us, too.

My career started at 5 years old with a Science Fair Crystal Set Radio Kit from Radio Shack that my grandma gave me for Christmas. Within a year, I was well beyond anything that any of my family understood. I am not saying that this kid is/will be the same. I am just suggesting that if he really has an interest in it he will guide himself. Kids do that.

My suggestion is just keep getting him stuff as long as he is interested in it. And let him take it as far as it goes. It's not spoiling him...just encouraging his own exploration of his interests where ever it takes him.
I agree. Just keep giving him things. Don't even tell him what they are. If he really is interested, he'll find out for himself. As a suggestion, Chinese LCD Voltmeters are getting really cheap, and only have a red and a black lead coming out. It's hard to get much simpler or cheaper than that, and it allows Mini-Einstein a view into a world that most adults don't understand. You don't even have to explain how it works. When he wants to know (is ready to absorb the knowledge) he'll find out for himself.

The most important part of this is don't push so much on him that he hits a wall he isn't ready for, or loses interest entirely.
When this was started..it seemed like a cute little idea..but the verbage is difficult. It may be that it becomes.'how long will the light bulb' last:) it seems to be that what is being measured or pulled out from the battery, also has a time component to it:) yikes!
The power thing should be avoided for now. In order for him to really understand it he would need at least 2nd year Calculus. It sounds like he may not be ready for that. :)

Trying to force knowledge on a child is a lot like teaching a pig to sing. :)