Jamie Oliver's Tesla Coil Dem Outline Page: ©
I have two outlines, one is for a talk with technical adults at a higher level and one is for a general audience with children as low as age 4 up to senior citizens. The outline below is the general audience outline. If you have any suggestions or commentsfor items that you have found that interests any age group, please mail them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I'd appreciate it.
I worked hard to make this list and refine it over the years. If you use it, please credit me for it. It is copyrighted. My reason for posting it is that I want to advance the sciences to kids as much as possible. See my comments here. Last updated Oct 2005.
Safety Requirements Before Running a Tesla Coil in Front of a Group:
Suggestion for Talking with Kids:
One general presentation hint I learned from my friend Calvin is that the best way to ask kids question about anything is to ask them "what do they feel is...." This way, they are less likely to feel "wrong" in front of a group. It facilitates a more interactive and fun atmosphere for a demonstration.
Some History of Tesla:
I start off this session by quizing the audience about what inventions are in the room that Edison invented. Many rooms or auditoriums have fluorescent lighting and frequently none have incandescent lighting. Incandescent is Edison's invention of course. I point out the the lights in almost all classrooms is Tesla's invention.
Some of Tesla's inventions are:
ELECTRICITY: the control and manipulation of electric and magnetic fields.
The GRAND FINALE:
I open up the gap on my rotary spark gap to max out the voltage and really pump up the power to the coil. I open the gap using a custom thickness calibrated gap gauge. I designed the rotary so it is easily accessible to do this. Run the coil with no tape or sharp objects on the torroid so the arc breaks out all over the place at random. Then show it with a wire and focus the power to a grounded object or plate.
At a demo at a school I asked if someone (a kid) wanted to come up and stand under this at full power. I did it to see the reactions on the teachers faces which was fun. I had kids ready to run up and try it. I tell them they are very trusting, if you get no volunteers, then you can tell them that they are very smart!
Ask them if they want to try any experiments with the coil. Joke about not doing any experiments with their siblings.
Close with a SAFETY WARNING:
Some folks may have come in late and re-emphasize that NO ONE should attempt to play with the power in their home under any circumstances. If they do want to learn more, have them contact their teacher, parent, ham radio club, or make yourself available to answer questions in the future.
For more educated audiences, you can go into facts like it is current that kills. 4-8 mA can stop one's heart. Shocks can kill many days later, they are not always ok after a shock. They should be checked out at a hospital, EKG etc.
Electricity can kill. A student at a local school here in Rochester was trying to build a Neon Sign Transformer (NST) Tesla Coil and the kid had a flashover or something and got the brunt of the transformer output and his parent found him laying on the floor. He lived but the Tesla Coil project was out of the house immediately. He was "lucky."
Suggestion to Parents:
A suggestion for parents of kids present (or kids to tell their parents), suggest to them about the Radio Shack 50-in-1, 100-in-1 or whatever they are up to, electonic project kits. These are the boards that have a bunch of components with spring clips that allow one to make a whole bunch of cool electronic projects. Fantastic way to have fun learning electronics.
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If you found this useful, please drop me a message. I put alot of effort into this page for making a good presentation. I still suck at my delivery but it is getting better with practice.
© Copyright 2006-2017. Jamie Oliver - Contents of this page are the sole responsibility of me, Jamie Oliver, and no, I'm not the British "Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef" but I'd enjoy meeting him some day.