Electrifying Science!

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!

Students were “shocked” to find out that potatoes and other produce such as lemons, apples and pickles can be turned into batteries that can be used to power an LED clock!

Dr. Pearl and Dr. Sahr

 

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