19 January, 2024

Build Better Energy: MIT Challenge #2

Magnet challenge in the elementary school

Our elementary school students are finishing their submission for the second MIT Challenge: Build Better Energy.

Build Better Energy

In this challenge, MIT doctoral candidate Shon Mackie of the MIT PLASMA SCIENCE AND FUSION CENTER is working with a group of ambitious researchers to make renewable energy through nuclear fusion, just like the sun, with the goal of ending dependency on fossil fuels. The key is magnets! He has challenged our students to experiment with permanent and electromagnets.

Pre-Kindergarten and Grade 3 have been working the last quarter on this challenge. PreK has been exploring permanent magnets and their properties. They have been conducting experiments to determine what is magnetic and what is not. Preschoolers have enjoyed using the power of magnets to move objects. They have also been working on a Magnet Maze wherein they will use the force of magnets to move a car through a maze.

Pre-Kindergarten students playing with magnets

Our 3rd graders have been busy experimenting with both permanent and electromagnets. They were challenged by Ms. Tafoya, the Design teacher, to apply all their knowledge of magnetic forces and motion to design a vehicle that utilizes magnetic levitation. They delighted in testing their vehicles on our maglev track. They have also been building their very own electromagnets! Inspired by a hydraulic crane design, 3rd graders are adapting and innovating it to create a hydraulic electromagnetic crane.