Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Can't Touch Tesla

Nikola Tesla. A bit of a weird dude but a brilliant one.
When I did this lesson with my son, like all lessons, I learn a bit of truth that was held back from me in my learning. Tesla did a lot of amazing things and when learning about his life, I learned what an awful man Thomas Edison was back then. A polar opposite of what I thought was a great man was just a money hungry businessman.
He offered Tesla a huge bonus if he can figure out a way to make the transmission of electricity better. Well, Tesla, did just that and more. He invented a device, rotating magnetic field, that saved customers money by being more efficient, safe, and provided more power. Edison was having none of that. Turned down the invention and offered Tesla no money. Wow. As you can imagine, Tesla was livid. Tesla owned the patent on his invention so Edison could not steal it. After a few years, Westinghouse approached Tesla and electricity as we know it made history. Check out this link about the lighting of Chicago's World's Fair.

I used BrainPOP and it's worksheets for this lesson. Lately, I find myself using BrainPOP, KidsDiscover, and TEDEd for my lessons. It's always morphing but since my son responds well to it, I stick to it.

We took a trip down to Augusta, GA, where we learned about the history of Augusta and how the Augusta Canal powers Augusta and the rest of GA today. There it was, in front of us, huge pipes coming in and going through generators and a diagram of the rotating magnetic field used to power the city. Tesla! It was so cool to make the connection. Vincent learned about hydroelectric power and was able to view, step by step, how it worked. Score!!

By the way, George Washington visited Augusta in 1791 and he suggested, back then, that the Savannah River should be turned into a canal. It took an Augusta native, Cummings, in 1845 to make that idea come to fruition.

Before Tesla died, he was figuring out wireless energy by using us, yep, as conductors. Unfortunately, he never wrote down his ideas just kept them in his head buried under soil.

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