What is 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 as well as incandescent light bulbs work.

Students were then challenged to make a closed (complete) circuit to light up a light bulb.  Their simple circuits consisted of a battery, a light bulb and two wires.  Next, the challenge got a little bit harder and students had to include a light switch in their circuits just like the ones on their walls at home! Finally they made some shocking conclusions about which materials conduct electricity and which don’t by talking about conductors and insulators.  Students made some predictions and learned 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!

Check out the video below to learn how you can use produce, such as potatoes, pickles, and lemons as batteries to power various output devices (light bulbs, calculators, etc.)!

 

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.

Los estudiantes se “impactaron” al aprender que las papas y otras frutas y verduras como los limones, manzanas y pepinillos, pueden transformarse en baterías, ¡las cuales pueden ser utilizadas para encender un reloj de LED!

1 Comment:

  • avatar

    My students were over the moon with anticipation of the Owl Pellet investigation! The pre-teaching activities prepared them well for the dissection of the pellets. One could actually see the enthusiasm building as the pellets were distributed, unwrapped, and the children discovered bones, feathers, small skulls, and teeth. The lab activity made the text information come alive, in authentic 3-D style. Using the tools and goggles of a real scientist truly made them feel so special! However, they approach every visit from Tiffany and Jeff with such delightful anticipation, “Are the Scientists coming this week?” is their standard battle cry.
    You can read, read, read about it but, there’s no substitute for the kinesthetic approach. Touching, manipulating, as well as predicting, identifying, and classifying is REAL Science! You make Science come alive for those who never knew they liked it, and those who love it. Thank you for the outstanding safety precautions, as well. My students are always in such very capable hands with SfS. They look forward to every visit.

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