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The Fleet Science Center brings the science and history of electricity to life with It's Electric

Opening Saturday, October 27, in the Fleet's Main Gallery.

October 22, 2018

 How does electricity get into your home video
How does electricity get into your home video
Tesla Coil
Tesla Coil

San Diego, CA—The Fleet Science Center announces the newest addition to its permanent collection, It's Electric, opening Saturday, October 27, in the Fleet's Main Gallery. In this exhibition, visitors explore fundamental principles of electricity by participating in a series of fun, interactive experiences and live demonstrations. Exhibits cover basic principles such as magnetic fields, electric charges and battery technology.

It's Electric offers hands-on learning for the whole family in 16 interactive stations. In addition to individual experimentation, guests have the opportunity to view live Tesla coil demonstrations. With its lightning-like discharges and sizzling noise, visitors will get to see a Tesla coil in action as it takes an already existing electric current and amplifies the voltage-by approximately 100,000 volts-and discharges it on the aluminum torus at the top of the secondary coil, showing colorful brush discharges. Tesla coil demonstrations last approximately 15 minutes and are performed at the Fleet daily.

The exhibits of It's Electric are designed to engage visitors in the many fascinating facets of electricity, including:

  • Basic Batteries. Visitors will have a chance to become a "battery" by placing their hands on two of the four metal plates. They then become the electrolyte connecting the two electrodes, causing movement in a meter.
  • The Plasma Tube. In this station, visitors will create lightning in a tube! A tube is filled with a mixture of gases that react with electricity from the central electrode to produce "plasma lightning." Visitors will watch in awe as the lightning spirals outward in tendrils of purple, pink and blue.
  • The Jumping Ring. Watch a ring jump back and forth along a tall arch! With the help of a button, visitors create alternating currents in coils to produce an alternating magnetic field. The magnetic field of the coil and ring are in opposite directions, pushing the ring away from the coil on which it is resting.
  • The Solenoid. This station shows a type of electromagnet whose purpose is to generate a controlled magnetic field. By pushing a button, visitors create a magnetic field, which then moves a magnetic rod through a copper spool. This pools enough energy to create a magnetic field strong enough to hold the heavy rod up.
  • Make the Lights Turn On. When electricity in a coil creates a changing magnetic field it creates electricity in a second coil. Visitors experience this first-hand by lifting a coil until the lights above turn on. Once the coil is lifted, electricity is being transferred to the bottom or secondary coil.

As visitors go through the stations, they can safely examine concepts including static electricity, live current, attraction and repulsion, sparks, voltage, AC/DC, telegraphs and transmitters.

It's Electric opens to the public on Saturday, October 27, and is included with museum admission.

For more information on It's Electric, please visit www.fleetscience.org/exhibitions/its-electric.

It's Electric is generously funded by The Kiwanis Club of San Diego and the San Diego Kiwanis Club Foundation.

 

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About the Fleet Science Center:
The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet hosts school field trips, science workshops and educational camps. For adults, we offer events like Fleet Night of Science and community events, such as Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™. In the community, we also provide free neighborhood science events weekly through 52 Weeks of Science. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility.For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at fleetscience.org.
 
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit balboapark.org.