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Physics students build electric motors during lockdown


By Ms Pingo Almada

Some pupils of S4C, S5A and S5B have presented this week their close out assignment of the chapter on electromagnetism. The chapter was mainly online, depending on the class. The assignment was to build an electric motor that they could show during the last lesson before the May holidays. The assignment also allowed other constructions like a dynamo, electromagnets or similar constructions that used the physics of the chapter “Electromagnetism”. The special thing in this case was that the pupils were at home in quarantine. This meant they had to find their own materials at home or eventually resource the missing things. That was a challenge!

The pupils knew about the task from the start, thus the pupils with good planning started early. Others started later and at the end with some effort everybody that really wanted to, managed to have a construction. The projects were presented Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the lesson, and the teacher was very impressed and proud of the pupils. It was very stimulating to see the pupils so engaged and motivated to build their construction.

The last five days before the presentations were hectic for the pupils to get the motor running. Some had to overcome technical problems, for others things worked smoothly, but for everyone it was a very productive, interesting, educative experience. For most of the pupils it was fun to do and it was seen as a nice close out of the chapter. For other pupils it was much too scary and went for a test. For the teacher, the construction of the motor served the purpose of seeing physics of electromagnetism in action, as well as developing other skills like planning, linking theory of lessons with practice, presentations skills, etc. And now for all the classes, after the hard work a well-deserved holiday!