Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I am sooo proud of myself. Last week I, Prairie Mother, all by myself helped the boys finish their 4-H Electric projects. AND they actually worked when we were finished with them! I was so proud of myself. Ok, ok, some of you may not think that's a big deal but I had to brush up (a lot) on my knowledge of electricity and I had to teach myself to solder. I'd chip soldered years a college jewelry class which is a lot different than using a soldering iron let me tell ya! 

Yap being the good 4-Her and reading directions first! 

All the parts laid out in a box so we can't lose any. Oh, it also helps if you can get rid of your 4 year old sister on the day you put this together...cuts WAY down on the chaos. 

My mom sent out the boys magnetic flashlight kit that I'm pretty sure can be bought in any extension office in Indiana through Purdue Extension.  You are probably wondering why I had grandma send them from Indiana rather than get something from the Kansas Extension Office. I've blogged previously about how different Indiana 4-H and Kansas 4-H are, and well, they just don't have anything at the extension office. A lot of 4-Hers will buy some electricity kit from a hobby store and use that for a 4-H project. We're sticking with the Purdue kits though. I think that the kits, along with the books, do a better job explaining electricity and have a logical sequence of skills from year to year. 

Stripping the wires.

They figured that a pocket knife worked a lot better than those wire strippers. 

They had a tiny little circuit board they had to solder 6, or was it 8, different wires onto. 

A pair of pliers and a rubber band make a great third hand while you are soldering! 

Taping down the wires and the coil to the outside of the tube. 

The blue thing right up there is the capacitor and that had to be soldered onto the circuit board along with the two red wires, and the light bulb. I learned that the capacitor stores the energy to light the bulb. 

Then all that the boys soldered together had to be put down into the plastic tube, give it a shake and the light bulb lights up!! Now I know how Edison must have felt...LOL 

Yip and Yap had a lot of wires to cut. They learned quickly that they had to do a neat job or that whole section wouldn't fit down into the tube. 

I know, those solders above aren't very pretty.....

...but they did the job! 

How are you all doing on 4-H projects? After helping my boys with 4-H projects, I think I'd take electricity and woodworking over a clothing project any day! 

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