It’s Electric is the newest addition to the Fleet Science Center’s permanent collection that brings the science and the history of electricity to life through interactive activities. Fundamental principles such as magnetic fields, electric charges and battery technology are explored through interactive stations.
It’s Electric offers hands-on learning for the whole family and is comprised of 16 interactive stations with Spanish/English text panels. Each display engages visitors in the many fascinating facets of electricity.
Visitors can safely examine concepts such as static electricity and live current, motors, batteries and wires, attraction and repulsion, sparks, charge and discharge, voltage, AC/DC, magnetic fields and magnetic motion, lights, telegraphs and transmitters and more.
The star of the show in It's Electric is the Tesla coil. Named for its creator, Nikola Tesla, the Tesla coil was the first system that could transmit electricity wirelessly. This means that the electricity generated by the coils can travel through the air to power electronics. The Tesla coil is comprised of a primary coil and secondary coil. The two coils have a gap of air between them called a spark gap. An already existing electric current is amplified by approximately 100,000 volts to generate a magnetic field. The voltage zipping through the air between the two coils creates sparks in the spark gap. When the charge gets too high, it is released into the air, creating a spectacular burst of electric current.
There are daily demonstrations of how the Tesla coil works. Check with a Fleet staff member for demonstration times. Please note: the demonstration contains loud and sudden noises.