Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thunder and Lightning must be Friends

We have been enjoying alot of weather here in the south east US this week.  We were just ready to leave the library on Thursday when the wind picked up and the lights went out.  We spent an hour getting to know some new friends better in the dark while we waited for things to calm down.  

Tonight, things were rumbling again.  As I was tucking him in, T-Rex asked, "So Mom, what is thunder anyway?"   I told him that thunder is energy.  The energy moves through the air, making waves and causing them to rumble.  Our ears receive that chaos as the sound "thunder."

  Energy is the most basic thing in the natural world.   So, I push myself to explain things to my children in terms of energy.  (This is actually debatable, but enough people with Phd.'s agree with me that I am going to go ahead and just make it a statement.) If you want to go a little deeper, you might think about the fact that lightening happens because electrons build up in the clouds during storms.  When the charge gets strong enough, the electrons jump to the ground. This jump releases a huge amount of energy.  Some of it is light, or "lightning".  Some of the energy physically moves out through the air.  That is thunder.

A little later, Pony Artist was out of bed, (That happens on stormy nights, right?)  As she headed back to her room, she turned to me and said, "I think thunder and lightening must be friends."

  All children are natural scientists.  What have yours been observing lately?

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