Story of How Electricity Works

Explain to children in kid friendly terms what electricity is, how it works and why we need it. This is built as a conversation between my daughter and myself for interactive learning for kids.

Akku: Mom, can you explain to me how electricity works? I’m really curious and I’ve been trying to read about it online, but I’m having a hard time understanding it.

Sure, Akku. Electricity is a form of energy that is caused by the movement of tiny particles called electrons. It’s what allows us to power our homes and devices, and it’s an essential part of modern life.

Akku: Okay, that makes sense. But how do we get the electrons to move in the first place?

Well, there are several ways to generate electricity, but the most common method is through the use of generators. These are machines that use energy from a source, such as coal or natural gas, to create a magnetic field that causes the electrons to move.

Akku: I see. And then how do we get the electricity to our homes and other places?

After it’s generated, the electricity is sent through power lines to transformers, which change the voltage of the electricity to a level that can be safely used in homes and buildings. From there, it’s distributed through a series of smaller power lines and finally reaches the outlets in our homes.

Akku: That’s so interesting! But what about the devices that we use? How do they turn the electricity into something useful?

Each device has its own circuit, which is a path that the electricity follows. When you plug in a device, it completes the circuit and the electricity flows through it, powering the device. The device then converts the electricity into the specific form of energy that it needs to function, whether it’s light, heat, or motion.

Akku: Wow, I never realized how complex the whole process is. But what about safety? I’ve heard that electricity can be dangerous.

Yes, electricity can be dangerous if it’s not handled properly. That’s why it’s important to always follow safety guidelines when using electrical devices and outlets. For example, you should never touch an electrical outlet with wet hands, and you should always unplug appliances when you’re not using them. It’s also important to use proper wiring and outlets to prevent fires and other accidents.

Akku: I’ll make sure to remember all of those safety tips. Thanks for explaining it to me, Mom. I feel like I have a much better understanding of how electricity works now.

You’re welcome, Akku. It’s always important to learn about the things that are a part of our everyday lives. Do you have any other questions about electricity or anything else?

Akku: No, I think I’m good for now. But I’m sure I’ll have more questions in the future.

That’s great. I’m always here to help you learn and answer any questions you have.


Mother of all waves

Akku: Mommy, How is a Tsunami formed?

Well, that’s an interesting question! But before that do you have any idea what a Tsunami is?

Akku: Yes mom. It is a humongous wave. When it reaches the shore, it causes fatal damages. And I think it’s caused by underwater earthquake.

Wow! That’s absolutely correct. But I’ll explain little bit more. Do you know the word Tsunami comes from the Japanese word ‘tsu’, which means harbor and ‘nami’ which means wave? So it’s called Harbor Wave. They are commonly known as “Killer wave”.


Akku: Cool! But the Killer wave sounds bit scary, doesn’t it, mom? So continue…

 Oh yeah, it’s scary. So, the Earth’s crust is made up of pieces called tectonic plates. When an earthquake happens these plates push against each other so hard that one of them slips or breaks. Imagine you are leaning against your friend. If you push against each other harder and harder, one or both of you will fall over. Same way when Earth’s plates push against each other, they can move a lot.

If an earthquake happens in the ocean, a large piece of Earth’s crust can be thrown upward or slips from side to side. The movement of a large chunk of Earth displaces the water above it, meaning it takes up the space where the water used to be. So where does the water go? It ripples out from the earthquake in waves.

Akku: Wow that’s amazing, but complicated.

I know, right? And this can also happen if a volcano erupts in the ocean. The lava flowing out of the volcano displaces the water around it. That water can turn into a large wave. If the earthquake or volcano is very big, then the wave can be very big, too.See, tsunami formed.

Big tsunamis usually begins in the deep ocean, where a large amount of water can be moved. As the wave moves closer to the shore, it grows taller and faster like a jet, forming a Tsunami.

Akku: So how can we tell that a Tsunami is coming?

Let’s say you are at the beach and feel an earthquake or rumbling in the ground, then the water recedes and gets pulled away from the coast leaving just the bare sand, then a Tsunami might be on the way. Go to high ground immediately!

Akku: So mommy if we see these signs can we escape a Tsunami?

Mostly we can, but experts says it gives very little time. It all depends on the size of the Tsunami formed and how soon you see it.

Akku: So mom, how big can a Tsunami get?

Out in the open ocean, tsunami formed waves are only about 3 feet high because the water is deep. However, as the water becomes shallow, the waves slow down and begin to grow. In some places a tsunami may cause the sea to rise vertically only a few inches or feet. In other places tsunamis have been known to surge vertically as high as 100 feet (30 meters).

Akku: What! 100 feet!!!!! That’s huge!

Yeah, almost the height of a 10 story building!

Akku: When did the last major Tsunami occur?

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami rank as the most devastating on record, causing waves as high as 30 feet (9 meters). More than 200,000 people lost their lives, many of them washed out to sea. Many people were killed because they went down to the beach to view the retreating ocean exposing the seafloor.

Akku: Oh that’s sad. If I see the seafloor, I would definitely run to higher ground.

That’s my girl! Do you want to know more facts about tsunamis?

Akku: Sure mom.

A tsunami is not a single wave but a series of waves, also known as a wave train. The first wave of a tsunami is usually not the strongest, successive waves get bigger and stronger. They are definitely not tidal waves and doesn’t behave like them. About 80% of tsunamis formed are within the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire”. They can travel at speeds of about 500 miles or 805 kilometers an hour, almost as fast as a jet plane.

Akku: Wow! That’s a lot!! Thanks mom. I’m all set to face a Tsunami if it ever comes.

Atta girl. Bye!

Colors of the Sky

Akku: Mommy, why is the sky red during sunset and sunrise?

Wow Akku, this is a very common question all the kids love to know. First let me explain why the sky is blue.

The light from the Sun looks white. But it is really made up of all the colors of the rainbow. Earth’s atmosphere is a mixture of the molecules (both gas and other types) that surround the earth. When sunlight reaches Earth’s atmosphere, light of longer wavelengths, like red, yellow, and orange, easily passes through, while light of shorter wavelengths, such as blue and violet, is absorbed and then scattered in all directions by the gas molecules. 

When you look up at the sky during the day, this scattered blue and violet light reaches your eyes, however, the human eye is more receptive to blue frequencies than violet frequencies, so the sky looks blue. Scientists call this Rayleigh scattering. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time.

Akku: Wow, that’s so cool. So mommy, is the sky blue on other planets, too?

It all depends on what’s in the atmosphere. For example, Mars has a very thin atmosphere made up of carbon dioxide and filled with fine dust particles. These fine particles scatter light differently than the gases and particles in Earth’s atmosphere. Photos from NASA’s rovers and landers on Mars have shown that at sunset there is actually the opposite of what we experience on Earth. During the daytime, the Martian sky takes on an orange or reddish color. But as the Sun sets, the sky around the Sun begins to take on a blue-grey tone.

Akku: Interesting! But mommy, then why is the sky red during sunset and sunrise?

During sunsets and sunrises, when the Sun is closer to the horizon, sunlight passes through more air than during the day, when the sun is higher in the sky. More atmosphere means more molecules to scatter the violet and blue light away from your eyes.

If the path is long enough, all of the blue and violet light scatters out of our line of sight. The other colors continue on their way to our eyes. This is why sunsets are often yellow, orange, and red. And because red has the longest wavelength of any visible light, the sun is red when it’s on the horizon.

Akku: Wow nice. Thanks Mommy! This is a lot of info. See you later.

Sure Sweetie! Waiting for more curious questions! 

Coronavirus or COVID-19

Akku: Mommy, what is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a family of viruses that affect mammals and birds. Occasionally, coronaviruses have been known to move from animals to humans. The coronavirus we’re talking about today is a new virus, which causes an illness called COVID-19.

Akku: How did they name it?

The name “coronavirus” is derived from Latin corona, meaning crown or wreath. The name refers to the characteristic appearance of virions (the infective form of the virus) by electron microscope which have a fringe of large, bulbous surface projections creating an image reminiscent of the solar corona or halo. And In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ ‘D’ for disease and ‘19” as it was first found in China in the year 2019.

world banner

Akku: How did the Coronavirus outbreak start, mom?

It’s not completely clear how the outbreak started, but it’s thought it’s likely to have begun in Wuhan, China at a local meat market known to sell wild animal meat. Experts still don’t know for sure which animal sparked the outbreak, but it’s thought that the new virus could have originated in bats.

Akku: Mom, it’s just like a flu, right? Then why are we still on lockdown and what kind of precautions do we need to take?

Since we haven’t encountered this virus before, we need to take extra precautions. For the great many people, including kids, this coronavirus isn’t dangerous, it’s just like a flu and will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatments.

For a few people, like the elderly and people who have long-term health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer or chronic respiratory diseases, they are more likely to develop serious illness. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is protecting yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and by not touching your face. And most importantly, keep social distancing. At this time, there is no treatment for COVID-19 or coronavirus vaccine available. That’s why we are still on lock down.

covid19 sneeze

Akku: By the way, how does it spread?

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva from mouth and discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. So it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

covid19 vaccine

Akku: What are the symptoms of Covid? And how do we know if we are infected?

COVID-19 have ranged from asymptomatic or mild symptoms like, fever, dry cough and tiredness to severe illness like difficulty breathing, chest pain and loss of speech or movement, and mortality. Symptoms may develop 2 days to 2 weeks following exposure to the virus.

There are two kinds of tests available, viral test and antibody test. A viral test tells you if you have a current infection. An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection. An antibody test might not show if you have a current infection because it can take 1–3 weeks after infection for your body to make antibodies. Having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 might provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. And the sample are collected by a swab test or blood test.

Akku: So what should I do, if tested positive?

Since there are no medicines, you need to self-isolate yourself for 2 weeks, take over the counter fever medicine, drink plenty of water and rest. Most importantly, if the symptoms worsen you need to seek medical attention immediately.

covid19 vaccine

wash hands



corona test

dont panic

Thankfully, there are lots of people like scientists and medical professionals from different parts of the world working extremely hard to learn how to better prevent, control and treat this virus. Scientists are working with speed to create a coronavirus vaccine, which will give people protection from the virus. It’s hoped that they’ll have a coronavirus vaccine ready by the end of 2020.

Akku: I can’t wait to go back to school. Will scientists invent the coronavirus vaccine soon?

Akku: I wish we will get the medicine soon! Thanks for all the info, mom. See you later!



Me too! 

Always remember to put a mask on and keep social distancing. And don’t forget to wash your hands frequently with soap.

Bubye sweetie!

Can I touch a Rainbow?

Akku: Mommy how is a rainbow formed?

Akku, you got a really complicated question this time. It’s a hard thing to explain. Before I start, you need to understand two things – reflection and refraction..

rain drop

Akku: Yes I know it’s something related to bending and bouncing of light, right mom?

That’s correct. The bouncing back of rays of light from a shiny surface is called Reflection of light. Whereas, the change in the direction of light when it passes through a different medium is known as Refraction of light.

So rainbows are formed when the sunlight passes through raindrops. The light is refracted as it enters the droplet and then reflects off its inside. And this causes all the amazing colors of the rainbow.


Akku: But why do we see only 7 colors?

Visible light, that is sunlight is made up of various wavelengths, and each wavelength appears as a different color: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Red light, for example, bends at a different angle than violet light. A great way to remember these colors is to think of a man’s name: ROY G BIV. When the sunlight passes through raindrop, it acts like a tiny prism and each color bends differently due to different wavelengths, thus splitting the light into seven colors.

Akku: Wow thanks for that ROY tip. Can we see a rainbow every time it rains?

Not all the time. The best time to catch a rainbow is when it’s sunny and raining. There is an even better chance when the sun is at a lower angle, so early or later in the day. On the other hand, if the angle is not right, the rainbow formed will not be visible. The key is to face the rain and have your back to the sun.

clay rainbow

Akku: Next time I am definitely going to see a rainbow. Hurray!! And Mom, can we touch a rainbow?

Can you touch light? No, right? Same way rainbow is just an optical illusion, so you just can’t catch up to it. When you move, so does it. We can’t touch it, neither feel it. It’s just light.

Akku: Oh yeah. Can we at least go the end of the rainbow and find the treasure?

I wish we could. But that’s also not possible. There is no end to a rainbow, it’s an optical illusion! Even though they look like an arch to us, rainbows are actually full circles. We see only part of the circle because the horizon blocks the rest of it from our view. Pilots high in the sky do sometimes report seeing genuine full-circle rainbows.

Akku: Wow!! I never knew that rainbow has a full circle. Cool! But I have seen a double rainbow. How does that happen?

Oh yeah ! A double rainbow happens when the light bends and reflects off the water drops in the air twice. In other words, the second rainbow is a reflection of the first rainbow. The second rainbow formed will be lighter in color and the colors will be reversed, just like a mirror reflection.

double rainbow

Akku: Nice! A mirror effect. Can a rainbow appear during night?

Oh yes, they’re called moonbows! The night time rainbow is extremely uncommon and occurs only when the moon is sufficiently brilliant and positioned properly with respect to falling rain to produce the delightful effect.

lunar rainbow
Photo of a Lunar Rainbow taken from the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. Photo courtesy Calvin Bradshaw (
Akku: That must be really beautiful. Thanks so much mom for this amazing facts about rainbows! See you later, Bye!

Mom: You are welcome dear!

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
― Dolly Parton