Bright idea: DeKalb Public Library to light up June 14 with Electricity Fair activities, demos

As part of the Bright Futures program, electricity kits like this Snap Circuit activity kit are now available to DeKalb Public Library patrons.
As part of the Bright Futures program, electricity kits like this Snap Circuit activity kit are now available to DeKalb Public Library patrons.

What does a hot dog taste like after you shoot 120 volts of electricity through its meaty center? How hard do you have to pedal a bike to generate enough energy to power a light bulb?

Families are invited from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 14, to learn the answers to these and other questions about energy at DeKalb Public Library’s Electricity Fair.

The library’s veranda will be filled with hands-on activities and electricity demonstrations from NIU STEM Outreach; Bart Woodstrup from NIU’s Time Arts – Design and Media Arts Department; the Institute for the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy; Lights for Learning; and DeKalb-Sycamore Chevrolet.

This event is part of the Bright Futures: Electrify Your Mind series presented by DeKalb Public Library and NIU STEM Outreach.

Throughout the spring community members have been participating in events at the library and NIU’s campus to learn about concepts and careers in science, electricity, and engineering.

The Bright Futures program was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Foundation, the IEEE Life Members Committee and the IEEE Chicago Section. The program will culminate in the Electric Fair, which is free and open to the public.

STEM Outreach associate Jeremy Benson demonstrates a Van de Graaff Generator, one of the many hands-on electricity demonstration that will be at Thursday’s Electricity Fair.
STEM Outreach associate Jeremy Benson demonstrates a Van de Graaff Generator, one of the many hands-on electricity demonstration that will be at Thursday’s Electricity Fair.

At Thursday’s Electricity Fair, attendees can:

  • Build circuits with Play-Doh, batteries and wire.
  • Use human power to light up light bulbs.
  • Test windmill designs.
  • See an electric bicycle.
  • Get their faces painted with electricity-related designs.
  • Sample electrocuted hot dogs.
  • Look inside a Chevy Volt.
  • Check out new books, DVDs and hands-on electricity kits from the library’s circulating collection.
  • Enter to win door prizes from STEM Outreach and DeKalb Public Library.

Artist Bart Woodstrup will also be on-hand to unveil the collaborative electric art project he created after working with participants of the May 26 Electric Art Lab.

Woodstrup’s electric art creation will be presented to the library and put on permanent display.

For more information, about the DeKalb Public Library Electricity Fair, call librarian Steve Roman at (815) 756-9568 ext. 280. The DeKalb Public Library is open seven days a week and is located at 309 Oak St. in DeKalb.

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