The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

High Schoolers Teach 5th Graders Physics

Credit: Wendy Zamzow

Champion’s Physics 2 class recently taught 5th graders the relationship between electricity and magnetism at Herff Elementary. On January 30 the Physics students were tasked with demonstrating the application of magnetic fields to the kids, and to do this they built homemade, low cost electrical motors. The demonstration consisted of 3 mini experiments in order to give the students a foundation of how electricity and magnetism work and how they are related.


“Teaching the 5th graders wasn’t terrible,” senior Cade Kolanowski said. “However, the only struggle I had was how much the 5th graders wanted to do the experiments themselves and how they would always want to touch everything.” 


The first experiment contained a bar magnet and a magnetic field sensor along with iron filings. The Physics students put the bar magnet under a piece of paper and poured iron filings to show the field the magnet creates. The future physics students frequently stuck their hands in the iron filings and asked a multitude of questions to the high schoolers.


“The 5th graders were super kind, and very surprisingly, easy to teach. These 5th graders are much smarter than us when we were in 5th grade.” Said senior Charlie Georgelos. “It’s amazing how quickly they were able to learn and understand the concept so well.”


The second experiment was building a simple circuit that turned on a light using a battery; the schoolchildren were able to use the magnetic field sensor and see that the circuit created a magnetic field. This experiment turned out to be the most interesting to the young students. Many of them were infatuated with the circuits, and some were a little scared of getting shocked, but the voltage was too low for anyone to get hurt.


Credit: Wendy Zamzow

“I may have burned some wires and myself a few times, but I was very careful to make sure the 5th graders didn’t get hurt.” Said senior Patrick Thornton. “Our presentation still got them interested and it honestly worked out.”                        


The third experiment was wrapping a coil of wire around a nail. The 5th graders were then tasked with using it to pick up paperclips and iron filings, and they realized connecting it to a battery would allow the nail to become magnetic.


“Our motor was kind of hard to make, but we used a super strong magnet to get it to spin really fast, the 5th graders absolutely loved it,” Thorton said.


The final part of the demonstration was displaying the electric motors. With their newfound knowledge, they were able to figure out how electric motors work, and the key principle that without the magnet the electric motors would not turn.

“The 5th graders even taught us a little, they attached more batteries to our motors and knew it would make the coil spin even faster, I didn’t even know that.” Kolanowski said. “The truth is these kids are way smarter than all of us expected, the future physics students are going to be amazing.” 

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Benjamin Torres
Benjamin Torres, Reporter
  Meet Benjamin Torres! Ben is in twelfth grade, and has just started writing for the newspaper. He has a passion for math and science, and also absolutely loves getting to know people. He loves hanging out with his friends and hanging out with his awesome family, which of course includes his dog, Millie.

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