Energy Carnival electrifies Martha’s Vineyard students

Gretta Gannon of the Chilmark School gets a charge out of the Van der Graaf generator. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Vineyard Energy Project (VEP) and Cape Light Compact (CLC) sponsored the second annual Energy Carnival at the Oak Bluffs School on April 28.

About 350 students in grades three through six from the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools and the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School participated in three one-and-a-half hour sessions held throughout the school day.

The carnival included 15 different stations about forms or transfers of energy.

“The stations were led by students in the Energy Club from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School [MVRHS], who were exceptional,” VEP Education Coordinator and event organizer Kara Gelinas wrote in an email to The Times this week. “It was a positive and fun learning experience for both age groups and really showcased the beauty of students teaching students.”

Activities at the stations included making coin batteries, a human circuit, and electricity from fruit, as well as a wheel of energy game. Other stations provided demonstrations of exothermic and endothermic reactions, magnets and electromagnets, kinetic and potential energy, a Van de Graaf generator, energy efficiency, solar and wind power, and sound, heat, and motion energy.

CLC provided volunteers and financial assistance for the carnival. MVRHS teachers Natalie and Dana Munn initiated and oversee the Energy Club, whose members volunteered to help.