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Lockdown tips: Four experiments I taught my grandson

Last updated on: March 30, 2020 10:49 IST

We had asked you, dear readers, to tell us how you're keeping your kids busy indoors during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Rediff reader Palanki Suryanarayana, 75 a retired professor of civil engineering settled in Bengaluru, tells us how he is teaching science to his grandson.

Adithya does a science experiment

IMAGE: Adithya learns about magnetism using coins. Photograph: Palanki Suryanarayana

During the lockdown I taught my grandson some science.

The first experiment was about static electricity.

After vigorously rubbing an inflated balloon over his scalp, the balloon was raised a little above causing the hair to stick up. A truly hair raising experience!

The second experiment was about magnetism using a fridge magnet and some rupee coins.

The nickel coins were placed in a row touching each other and the magnet was brought near. The entire chain of coins stuck to the magnet.

Adithya learnt two things:

1. Nickel is a magnetic material

2. When attached to the magnet, the nickel coin itself becomes magnetic and can attract other coins.

I also learnt how nickel is still being used for minting coins, a practice I thought ended with the King George VI four anna pieces!

In the third experiment, we focused on the effect of sun's rays on the head of a match stick. We had placed some sticks on the dry leaves and used a convex lens to light it up.

Adithya learnt that light rays and heat rays have the same point of convergence.

After physics, we did a little bit of nature study.

My grandson learned about camouflage in nature by observing a butterfly disguised as a dry leaf of our potted plant.

Dear readers, tell us how are you keeping your kids busy at home?

Are you playing games, painting together or cooking?

Send us your most interesting photographs, ideas and videos on (subject: Keeping kids busy) along with your name, your kid's name/s, ages and location. We'll publish the best responses right here on

Palanki Suryanarayana