Thursday, November 16, 2006

I am NOT talking about Christmas

So there Beka ;P
Let us speak of it no more...

Not that I have much of anything else to say. I am just so tired. Only one more day til the weekend. Woo!

My class defied the laws of physics in science today. Yes, a bunch of seven and eight year olds outwitted Einstein (or whoever it was that invented magnets, c'mon, I'm going to be a Primary school teacher, I don't need to know advanced stuff). They were testing the strength of different sized and shaped magnets by measuring at what distance they would attract a paperclip. They were circulating from table to table in their groups, testing different magnets at each station.

Halfway through the experiment some of the highest ability kids approached me with a pair of magnets. They were the red and blue plastic coated ones that we use for most magnet experiments. They are good because one end is red and one is blue, so they are excellent for demonstrating the principles of north and south poles. Or at least, they were.

"Look, Miss," one of the girls said, holding up the two magnets.

She then proceeded to press the two blue ends of the magnets together and let go. The magnets stuck. I took them off her and pulled them apart. Then I put them together again. I could feel the magnetic pull. I reversed them and pressed the red ends towards each other. I could feel the identical polarities pushing away from each other as they should. I tried the red end to the blue end. They attracted as they should. I put the blue end to the blue end again. They pulled towards each other.

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Nothing!" They protested, then acquiesced, "Well, actually it came apart so Erica* put it back together but she must have put it back the wrong way round."

I then informed them that they had, in fact, defied the laws of physics because I had (and have) NO CLUE how they managed to reverse the polarity of one end of a magnet. It's all kinds of wrong. Talk about messing with the natural order of things!

*NB. From this point on, when I mention a kid by name, just assume it is not their real name. It will save me typing a little "not real name etc etc" every time :)

6 comments:

BEKA said...

Ugghhh soo much smartness, can't understand what's going on...

So they did what? The put it back together differently but it worked the same way right?

/durrrr

Thanks for the link! haha

starrynite said...

Ha ha. The same coloured ends should repel, the opposite colours should attract. Think positive and negative like batteries.

Somehow they managed to get it so the blue end and the blue end attracted. I have no idea how that is possible.

Katya said...

It was a broken magnet? Lets go with that? Or some elaborate scheme to make you feel silly. I prefer that one, actually!

BEKA said...

Ohhhh durrrr! Yeah I totally knew what you were saying.. I was just, you know.. umm.. testing you. Good job!

:)

Attention Whore said...

Nothing like a classroom of seven and eight year olds to make you feel intellectually inferior.
Love it.

starrynite said...

I don't think they really knew how they'd managed to do it. they seemed as amazed as me that the unchangeable principle I'd just taught them about appeared to not be so in this case.

They broke the magnet apart and the somehow they managed to put it back together in a way that changed it...I don't know how they did it and I don't think they do either.

But trust kids to be able to do something like that, even by accident.