Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High-Powered Show Charges Kids Up

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High-Powered Show Charges Kids Up

Article excerpt

JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- Witnessing a million volts of electricity

crackling on their school stage, the students at San Pablo

Elementary School got a big charge out of learning Thursday.

Watt is Electricity is the brainchild of Robert Krampf,

director of the Science Education Co. of St. Augustine. Krampf

has presented the show to more than a quarter of a million

people in 13 years. Using a static generator, a Tesla coil and

Faraday's Cage, devices with which most laymen are unfamiliar,

Krampf worked his magic on the young audience.

San Pablo Principal Beverly Brown said the program was a

wonderful tie-in with her school's magnet-select theme of

science, and appreciated the parent teacher association and

business partners who teamed up to sponsor the demonstration.

"This program capped what many of our teachers have been

covering in science. It's wonderful that the students get to

actually see what their teachers have been talking about in

class," Brown said. "The children ranged in age from

kindergarten to fifth grade, and they were spellbound from

beginning to end."

Incorporating safety messages into the entire program, Krampf

used several students from the audience to assist him on stage.

Before the event was over, he made their hair stand on end, and

even dance a little; shot 4-foot-long, purple lightning bolts

from the Tesla coil and lighted fluorescent light bulbs without

having to plug them into a socket.

The effect of the show was heightened when Krampf asked for the

lights to be turned off. In the darkened room the two children

holding the glowing fluorescent bulbs resembled Star Wars

characters holding light sabers.

For the show's climax, Krampf sent 75,000 volts of electricity

toward a student, and then redirected it at himself.

Both attempts were accomplished without casualty through the

use of Faraday's Cage, which illustrated the fact that the

electricity generated from the Tesla coil goes around objects,

not through them.

Fifth-grader Emily Harasz was one of the students selected to

stand in the cage for the demonstration. …

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