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 a light bulb. They really had to take charge and include a light switch in their circuits. Finally they made some shocking conclusions about which materials conduct electricity and which don’t by testing them in their circuit. Our simple circuit consisted of a battery, light bulb and wires. We then added in the different insulators and conductors to the closed circuit to see which materials would keep the light on. Students found that metals were good conductors, while paper, wax and rubber were insulators. This is the reason why we have plastic, an insulator, around our electrical cords so we won’t get shocked!


La Electricidad

El la clase del día de hoy estudiamos la electricidad. Los estudiantes aprendieron qué es la electricidad y su relación con los átomos, que son los bloques de construcción de toda la materia física. Aprendimos que la electricidad es el flujo de cargas eléctricas, usualmente de electrones, lo que se denomina “corriente”. También repasamos cómo funcionan las baterías. Luego los estudiantes tuvieron el siguiente desafío: construir un circuito para encender una ampolleta (bombilla). Construyeron el circuito completo, ¡incluso incluyeron un interruptor para encender la luz! Finalmente, los estudiantes usaron sus circuitos para determinar qué materiales conducen la electricidad y cuáles no; y obtuvieron a unas conclusiones “electrizantes”.

El circuito era muy simple, consistió de una batería, cables y una bombilla. Luego probamos diferentes materiales aislantes y conductores en el circuito cerrado, para ver cual mantenía la luz encendida y cual no. Los estudiantes aprendieron que los metales son buenos conductores, mientras que el papel, la cera y la goma actúan como aislantes. Esta es la razón por la cual usamos el plástico como aislante eléctrico en nuestros cables; así evitamos electrocutarnos.


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Phillip has a BS and MS in Biology from Western Washington University, and is currently earning a PhD in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. His research interests are in tropical rainforest ecology and animal-plant interactions. He will be doing his doctoral dissertation research on tropical seed dispersal ecology in the montane rainforests of Rwanda. Phillip has taught though various adjunct positions at several colleges in New England, teaching biology, ecology, earth science, environmental science, and general science at Babson College, North Shore Community College, Wheelock College, Merrimack College, and Mount Ida College.

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Our Young Pre classroom is for ages. This age group is working