Friday, June 22, 2012

AWEsome Electricity: A Powerful Subject

Children love electricity! Not just because it is fascinating, but because it powers their fun (and their work!) Today they use power to text, talk with friends, read a book, listen to music, watch a movie, play a game and even do their homework. The fun stops the minute they run out of power. Without thinking about the science or technology involved, they know that electrical devices need batteries or power cords. The abilities to generate and store power are just two of the concepts children will be able to explore in DuPage Children’s Museum’s new exhibit AWEsome Electricity.

DCM's Pedal for Power Exhibit
In fact, it is easy to generate enough electricity to light a bulb. Generating power to light a city is a similar process, but on a much grander scale. Turbines spin in both circumstances, but a city does not rely on children pumping a bicycle or spinning a hand crank to generate its supply. As the world’s energy dependence grows, helping children to understand the production of useful power is increasingly important. Children playing in AWEsome Electricity can generate and control electricity to race cars, spin trapeze artists and drive trolleys, while exploring solar power and energy storage. Amazing electrical busy boards filled with switches, lights and fans will help children understand the wiring in their own homes. Chicago kinetic sculptor Christopher Furman created a lively carnival sculpture especially for the exhibit that children will set in motion by building electrical circuits. Developed for children ages five and up, the exhibit has elements for our younger visitors, as well. DCM has opened another powerful and power filled exhibit for young people to explore. You’ll get a charge out it!

Marcia Z. MacRae, M.A., is DuPage Children's Museum’s Interdisciplinary Art Specialist and the Exhibit Developer of AWEsome Electricity.

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