Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Mom learns more than the kid some days. Today I learned that electricity can be dangerous in the hands of 11 year old boys. Even battery powered electricity.
I can hear you out there. Someone just said, "No kidding!"
That was the polite comment.
My first mistake was not asking why he wanted 4 batteries instead of the 2 he'd been using.
He's been experimenting with a small Snap-Circuit set for a couple of years and the big one arrived today. It's the really flashy one with 750+ experiments, some of them involving the computer. My computer. I'm not so sure about that now.
It has 2 battery holders - for a total of 3 when you count the parts from the first kit. That's 2 batteries per = 6 batteries. Good thing he couldn't find 6.
He got out both sets and built something very much like the photo above, only with 4 batteries, 2 electric motors and 2 spiffy red fans. It was blowing quite a bit of air what with the sliding switch he'd installed to regulate the power.
My second mistake was turning my back on him.
First I heard an alarm - 0ne of the assortment of noisemakers provided -- and an amazingly loud whirring sound. Then something whizzed past my ear.
The next thing I heard: "I guess I won't do THAT with 4 batteries again."
You betcha. He knows that was a close call. Couple of inches closer and he'd be banned from science experiments for quite a while -- or worse, sentenced to write a report. That's the worst possible punishment around here - writing a report on what went wrong and why.
Right now he's trying to figure out whether reversing the polarity on the electromagnet will toss out the iron rod instead of sucking it in. I don't think it's going to work, but I can tell I'm going to have to insist on protective gear for future experiments.