Wednesday, September 19, 2012

By Jove, it worked!

Much of the morning was taken up with "character training". We eventually did some school-type stuff, but I find the character aspect to be much more of an immediate need than opening a book. The book can wait, but some things character-wise you really need to catch in the moment. I will add it is not my favorite way to spend a morning.

But we finally were able to work on our electricity unit and today the project of making a telegraph was scheduled. Scheduled somewhat hesitatingly, though. You see, my children really know what a real experiment looks like in that sometimes they don't work. And then we get to go back and see where we went wrong or if we went wrong and the directions were bad or something else entirely. Let's just say we don't have a 100% success rate.

I took a deep breath and we began. The idea was that you connect a battery, a buzzer and the tapping mechanism (in this case brass fasteners and a paper clip) together in a circuit. When the paper clip is pressed and connects with the brass fastener, the buzzer sounds and you can use Morse code to send messages. I could tell everyone was holding their breath when I first tried it and by their exclamations I could tell they didn't have high hopes for the whole project either. 

Everyone got a chance to try tapping out words and it was deemed a success. I could tell TM really wished that we could somehow make a larger one that was a permanent installation in the house. It would be interesting to have a Morse code key and lever on our doorbell to replace the broken one. In theory. I don't really think I want to hear constant Morse code throughout my day, so we'll stick with the broken doorbell.

Here is the paper clip/telegraph lever:

The little girls were interested in what was going on. Really, they had no idea what was going on except that people were getting turns making noise, so they were all for it.

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