CHA 3&4: Electricity

Electricity!  Sparking Interest

Today’s lesson was all about electricity.  Students learned what electricity is made of, and how it relates to atoms, the building blocks of all physical matter. We discussed that electricity is the flow of electric charge, usually electrons, called current and reviewed how batteries work.

Students were then challenged to make a complete circuit to light up an output device, in this case a light bulb.  They really had to take charge and include a light switch in their circuits.  We then experimented with hooking up more than one battery in a row, or in “series,” and discovered that it made the light bulb brighter because two batteries in a row have twice the voltage, so the electrons are pushed through the light bulb with more force.

Finally, we tried to use lemons as a power source, but sadly we could not light the bulb even with eleven lemons in series. Still, we had fun trying!

Author

Dr. Maureen Griffin

Maureen earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003. While at Penn, she developed a novel micro-mechanical technique called micropipette peeling to investigate the role of muscle cell adhesion in normal and diseased skeletal muscle cells. After graduating, Maureen worked full time as a post-doctoral researcher and then a staff scientist a SelectX Pharmaceuticals. She joined the teaching staff in 2008 and was excited to be made an executive staff member in 2009. Maureen also continued to consult part time for SelectX until her daughter's birth in 2009; now she is focused on Science from Scientists and, of course, her children. Maureen uses her spare time to read, blog, cook, and renovate her house.

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