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Current Connections

Learn about energy from Power Girl, in CDM's high-energy exhibit sponsored by PG&E.  Crank some gears, work a pulley, and turn a treadle to generate power.  Then use the harnessed power to light a playhouse and move toy engines.  The exhibit helps children gain an understanding of how electricity is generated, how it is distributed, and how it is ultimately converted to other forms of energy.

Can you lift two bowling balls?

Generate your own power!

While children can interact individually with each piece of the exhibit, it works best when several children or adults synchronize their actions.  Some pieces, such as the treadle, only move when two or more people balance their movements with one another.  And one child can only use energy to light up the playhouse if another child is currently producing it.

Current Connections hopes to inspire conservation of fossil fuels and environmental protection by helping children to understand the amount of energy needed to power simple machines.  By using people-power to generate electricity, children can appreciate how much work is needed to supply a small amount of power.

Make the airplane fly

Power Girl uses her ingenuity to design human-powered machines that perform common tasks, like lifting a ball and dragging a toy train.  Hopefully, the exhibit will inspire children to design their own simple machines at home. 




Teachers

Standards

Group Visits

Current Connections Exhibit Guide (Grades 2 - 3)

Resources
Awesome Experiments in Electricity & Magnetism, by Michael A. DiSpezio



Parents

Games & activities
Power Girl Online

Resources
Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World, by David Bodanis

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond



Children

Games & activities
Power Girl Online

Resources
Switch On, Switch Off, by Melvin Berger

Energy Makes Things Happen, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Awesome Experiments in Electricity & Magnetism, by Michael A. DiSpezio