Elementary students will approach the study of static electricity from the stance of a materials engineer.
Students will learn electricity basics and will make and use a simple electroscope. They will collect and analyze data and learn the difference between quantitative and qualitative data.
All activities will be performed while participating in a real-life scenario during which students are challenged to begin the process of engineering a nanotech insect repellent based on the properties of static electricity -- in other words, a human bug zapper.
This activity was specifically designed to challenge students' open-mindedness, as well as their ability to demonstrate skepticism when appropriate. They will become involved in discussions that identify faulty reasoning and/or conclusions that go beyond the evidence/data generated.
Finally, students will be led to an understanding of the scientific method as an ongoing process that is propelled forward by their own questions, ideas, and curiosity.