Wednesday, January 15

Road Trip to Arkansas + Magnetism & Electricity

Do you know how your GPS works?  And what does Arkansas have to do with electricity and magnetism?  Journey with us to explore!

During our study on the history and applications of magnetism to maps & globes, we started with a video on latitudes / longitudes and a funny Cub Scout movie about reading a compass.

Next stop was a short lapbook on the basics of maps and globes.  This was a great opportunity to continue working on continents and oceans with the youngest.  The oldest fashioned his own globe out of a styrofoam ball that we found laying around and two toothpicks.

We read the Magic School Bus : Amazing Magnetism and completed an accompanying unit.  The boys built their own compass using the same methods from as Miss Frizzle.  We also used the Young Scientist Series Magnetism kit.
We learned about how magnetism helps animals, such as butterflies, with their migratory paths.  In the hands-on section, we learned about magnetic fields, how magnetism and electricity are related, and how magnetism affects gravitational pull.

We have been studying Leonardo da Vinci for history, and reading Monday with a Mad Genius.  In the book (spoiler alert), Leonardo's secret to happiness is his perpetual curiosity.  As we had just completed the book, I found this wall mural to be relevant and fascinating.
With a long weekend approaching, a science field trip seemed in order!  We only had three days for a mini-vacation, so we headed East to Hot Springs, Arkansas to hike the Trails at the National Park and visit the Mid-America Science MuseumBeing completely honest here, we were having so much fun that we simply forgot to take photos!  But getting to play with the Tesla ball was a trip highlight!
Heading home, we stopped in Fort Smith, Arkansas and spent the day learning state history at the Historical Society, discovering how trolleys work at the Trolley Museum, and taking a half-day train ride on the Arkansas-Missouri line.  Despite the price difference between coach and first-class tickets, the meal, view, and VIP treatment make purchasing a first-class ticket worthwhile!  
Admittedly, the train had nothing to do with this unit and was just a cool side stop on this Arkansas field trip...but it was still neat!

Want to learn more about electricity?  Check out our Nick & Tesla series!


  1. I can't wait to begin roadschooling! Thanks so much!

    1. Do you guys have a first trip planned yet? It will be so much fun!


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