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Engage students by building a flashlight that doesn’t need batteries, but rather harnesses and stores the power of a handshake for a real-world application of Faraday’s law of magnetic induction. 

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Shake and light up your classroom! Engage your students by building a flashlight that doesn’t need batteries—it harnesses and stores the power of a handshake. Students see a real-world application of Faraday’s law of magnetic induction and learn how to build a circuit. Powerful neodymium magnets are shaken through 600 feet of coiled magnet wire, inducing an alternating current. An arrangement of diodes converts the current from AC to DC, which is stored in a supercapacitor. Simply flip the switch, and the capacitor releases the stored energy in the form of light through an LED. Flashlight can be dismantled and reassembled or left completed. Includes all components to create one shake flashlight, detailed instructions and a reproducible student worksheet.

Concepts: Basic circuitry, elecromagnetic induction, capacitance, energy transfer.
Time Required: 25 minutes
Materials Provided: Two breadboards, capacitor, cotton balls, four diodes, pre-coiled 600 feet of magnet wire, two LEDs, three neodymium magnets, plastic tube, resistor.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Constructing explanations and designing solutions

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
HS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
HS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy

Crosscutting Concepts

Energy and matter
Structure and function

Performance Expectations

MS-PS2-3. Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces
HS-PS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.
HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.