Einstein: Light to the Power of 2 (1999)


Concept featured in film: Scientist Movie and Introduction to a Compass

Location of clip:

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: Albert Einstein shows Lannie his compass to get her interested in figuring out why it works or how. The needle always finds its way to magnetic north and he shows her that it does this through many objects. He questions what the invisible force is it that always draws the needle north. Einstein states "In our everyday world we preoccupy ourselves with only that which we can readily understand. What we see, hear, feel, but nature itself tells us there is much more. There are so many things around us that our sense cannot explain. Like, what invisible force always draws that needlepoint north." Einstein explains how he became to "wonder" about the world and how that leads him to research some of the things he did.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: This flickclip could be used to start a unit on Albert Einstein or any of his findings. It shows some of his thoughts on life and how people should question the life around them: nature of science. It could also be specifically used to talk about electromagnetic fields and how a compass works.

Suggestions to Teachers:

Electromagnetic fields and how a compass works questions:

1. Have students watch the flickclip and then break off into groups to discuss the invisible force that Einstein refers to. What do you think it is? How does it work? Why does it work?

2. Come back together as a group and present each groups thoughts. Allow students to tackle misconceptions that other students have about how electric fields work.

3. Have students come up with experiments to try and explain how a compass works using magnets, compasses, coils of copper wire, etc.

4. Discuss each group's findings and see if we truly discovered how it works.

Einstein questions:

5. Have students research Einstein's life and make a timeline of his life.

6. Ask them find things in Einstein's life that were struggles, efforts, achievements, and scientific findings.

7. Have each student put their timelines up on the wall. Discuss the differences and similarities they found on the same persons life. How successful was Einstein and why was this? -- He always questioned how things worked.