Electricity is one of the most fascinating aspects of science and nature. Since electricity has a number of common everyday uses, one way of teaching electricity is to create simple circuits, which emphasize the important concepts while allowing the students to see and create useful applications of electricity. Many of these electric circuits are easy to build.
Create a Light Bulb Circuit
Students can use a simple electrical circuit to power a light bulb. Students can connect AA batteries to the bulb with copper wires, directing a current into the bulb and producing light. There are different circuit arrangements that students can use to produce this light, so have them analyze the circuit to explain how it works.
Light a Light Bulb Using a Lemon
This electric circuit is similar to lighting a light bulb; however, instead of the "traditional" power source of a battery, you will use a lemon to light the bulb. This circuit will be very similar to the one using the battery as a power source, but the lemon provides a unique (and delicious) source of electricity that can hook the student's interest.
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Magnetize a Screwdriver
This circuit involves studying the relationship between electricity and magnetism. In this circuit, students wrap a wire around a screwdriver or nail (or other metal object), and connect a power source to the wire to produce a current. The current flowing through the metal object should induce a magnetic field. Test this by picking up small metal objects, such as screws or coins.
Create a Door Alarm
This requires the student to build a more complicated circuit. Using a number of supplies (such as duct tape, aluminum foil, a metal clothes-hanger and a battery-operated buzzer or chime), the student can create an alarm that will detect when a door is opened. This can be done by using the clothes-hanger and the aluminum foil as a switch that, when closed, sends a current through the circuit, which activates the alarm. Students can perform this project in a number of creative ways.