6th Grade Lamps, 2019

For many years we have been able to visit each of the sixth grade classes in Elliott County, KY.
We teach the kids about electrical circuits, batteries, motors, resistance, voltage, amperage, and power.

One of the first things we teach is that a circuit is a circle that electrons can move around.
The circle has to be made of a conductor like copper or aluminum but any metal will suffice.
As will water, carbon, people, and some other things.

Then they each build a lamp.
They decorate, wire, and test it.
Then take it home for their own use or for a Christmas present for their mom, grandma, or whomever they choose.
The kids paint the pots that would be the base of their lamps.

First pick the best colors.

Nancy encouraged them to be creative.

If they planned to give the lamp to to someone as a present they made it to suit the recipient.

Here are the parts of the lamp (pot not yet painted) laid out in the order they will be assembled.

They collect the parts that they need.

We explained that the components they were using had been certified by the Underwriters Laboratory as safe, if connected properly.
They searched for this symbol on the socket, its case and the wire. 

It appeared 6 times in various places

They also discovered that the wire was rated for 103 degrees C and 300 volts.

They need a stress relief where the wire goes into the socket to be sure that it isn't pulled loose by an accidental tug.
One acceptable way to provide that is an underwriters knot.

These diagrams show how to tie it in the wire.
The knot is just inside the base of the socket and prevents a pull on the cord dislodging the electrical connections.

Each student had to assemble and wire their lamp.
We emphasized that they had to follow directions carefully to be sure it would be safe.

The kids make the shades as well.
Here is the template.

We make sure that they know to only use compact fluorescent or LED bulbs not incandescent ones.
Some kids decorate the shades or get the everyone in the room to sign it.

Grayson Rural Electric Cooperative donated high efficiency compact fluorescent bulbs for each of the lamps.

All done except for the bulbs.

I didn't manage to get pictures all of the classes showing off their completed products, sorry.
The kids have to keep the bulbs in their boxes until they get home to avoid making a mess on their bus.

Ready to light up the world  ....  or at least their bedroom.

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