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Electro-Magnetic Dynamo

1 Class Session, 1.5 Hours

Our junior engineers discuss how to harness natural resources to power machines, then design and build a wind turbine to supply an electromagnetic dynamo with mechanical energy to be converted into electrical energy. Students will see how much electrical energy their design produces and make modifications to increase its energy output. This class focuses around reducing human impact as it pertains to energy consumption.

What’s Covered

After learning about different types of energy and their sources, students use this knowledge to fuel a discussion and potential debate on the choices humans have for energy consumption. They consider ways that one form of energy can be converted into another and see this in action using a radiometer and solar powered cars.

After testing out a couple examples of electromagnetic dynamos, which convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, students put their engineering and problem-solving skills to the test to design a wind turbine that harvests wind power for an electromagnetic dynamo.

Lessons & Activities

Students participate in a discussion of Human Impact in Energy Consumption, as well as the activities listed below.

Radiometer & Solar Cars Demo

Students step outside the classroom for a hands-on demo on energy conversion. They experiment with a radiometer and solar powered cars, moving them between different lighting scenarios and making observations on how thermal and solar energy may be converted into mechanical energy.

Electromagnetic Dynamo Demo

By shaking a powerful magnet and inducing an electrical current in a copper wire to power a light bulb, students witness the conversion of their own mechanical energy into electrical energy.

Wind Turbine Build

The class culminates with an engineering problem: in small groups, students must design a mini-wind turbine to harvest the mechanical energy from a wind source and move the magnet within an electromagnetic dynamo. Teams use a multimeter to measure who can generate the highest voltage from their design.

Educational Standards

Applicable Common Core/Next Generation Standards:

  • NGSS-MS-ESS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • NGSS-MS-ESS3- 4: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
  • NGSS-MS-ESS3-1: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distribution of Earth’s mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the results of past and current geoscience processes.
  • NGSS 4-ESS3-1: Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

Ready to Get Started?

Accelerate your students’ learning with our exciting curriculum. Learn more about this hands-on, experiential education activity today.

Pali students connect wires in electricity class
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What People Are Saying

I loved my experience at Pali. In my time as an instructor, I was able to develop many skills in the classroom as a teacher and as a leader. I would highly recommend this position for anyone who would like to start a career in the Outdoor Education Industry.

Alicia G., Instructor

Thank you so much for an incredible week. The kids are jazzed; parents are more jazzed. Your team is incredible, and the planning and execution for a top notch science/outdoor education/leadership camp is celebrated. We are so glad we found you.

Danielle V., Teacher

Impressive! This is our first time to Pali. I have taken students to four other SoCal science camps and I would highly recommend Pali and plan to return next year.

Janice K., Educator

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