Electro-Mechanical Connetions

Wires have both mechanical and electrical properties. A wire needs to be big enough (gauge) to handle the amount of electricity it carries, but it must also have a firm mechanical connection to each component in the circuit. Today every student in 3rd grade had the opportunity to wire a switch using screw terminals (a clamping post for the wire). We used wire cutters, wire strippers and screwdrivers today in order to make the connections. 

We also examined different kinds of wire. We realized that the small wires we use in class would not be sufficient to carry a large amount of power. The more power we want to carry the larger the wire must be in diameter. One of the machines we looked at is a motorcycle that set the record of 217mph at Bonneville for an all electric vehicle. At 240,000 watts of power (600 volts x 400 amps) the machine needed some very big wire, a sample of which we examined in class. 

Getting the feel of a screwdriver and how hard to tighten a screw holding a wire requires focus and practice.