Electric circuits

Introductory Activities:

Tape Electroscope: Use Scotch Tape to determine the charge on an object.

Circuit Board: Make a circuit board with a board, alligator clips and a battery holder.

PS.7.4.2 Classify Electrical conductors and insulators

Electrophorus: Separate charge with insulators, combine charges with conductors.

Multimeter Electroscope : Use a multimeter to detect the sign of an electric charge.

PS.7.4.3 Construct simple circuits from a Circuit Diagram.

Model voltage in a circuit using "pipe cleaners"

PS.7.8.1 Construct open and closed Circuits, Series Circuits, Parallel Circuits
PS.7.8.2 Describe and diagram open and closed circuits, series and parallel circuits
PS.7.8.3 Compare and Contrast open and closed circuits, series and parallel circuits

Bulbs and batteries: Make parallel and series circuits with Christmas tree bulbs.

Battery dissection: Cut apart a carbon zinc battery (NOT Alkaline!)

Magnets round the rim: Model electric current using magnets.

Multi meters current: Use meters to measure the currents in circuits.

Meters voltage: Use meters to measure voltages in circuits.

Multimeter Electroscope : Use a multimeter to detect the sign of an electric charge.

Saltwater Battery: Create a battery with aluminum and copper in salt water.

Saltwater pentacell: Place 5 saltwater cells in series to light a lamp.

Hand Battery Use a multimeter to assure the current created by human hands touching aluminum and copper.


P.8.PS.1 Ohms law V = IR, and series V = V1 +v2, I1 = I2, R = R1 +R2, parallel V1=V2, I = I1 +I2, 1/R = 1/R1 +1/R2 (mistake in the standards equation)

Bulbs and Batteries : Make series and parallel combinations of bulbs and batteries.

Bulbs, batteries, meters: Measure series and parallel circuit voltages and currents with multimeters.

Glowing Pickle: Place 110V AC across a pickle to make it glow.

P.8.PS.2 Electric Power P = VI

Meters power: Use a meter to measure voltage across and current through a device to measure its power.

Aluminum air battery: Make a saltwater battery that can provide a fraction of an amp!

Electrostatic Motor: Move a large wood beam with electrostatic charge and induction.


P.8.PS.3 Electric energy E = Pt

P.8.PS.4 Step up and step down transformers

P.8.PS.5 PS.6.8.3 Electromagnets

Ammeter : Wind your own coil, put current through it to make an electromagnet and use it as an ammeter.

LS.2.7.6 Nervous system

Domino model of a nerve : Falling dominos model the propagation of nerve impulses.

PS.6.8.4 The relationship between electricity and magnetism

Circles of Magnetism: Use compasses to show the magnetic field around a current carrying wire.

PS.7.7.2 alternatives to fossil fuels, solar wind, hydro, nuclear

Solar Cell: Use meters to measure the voltage and current, so power, made by a solar cell.

Solar Brightness: Measure the brightness of the sun by comparing it to a lamp.

Solar Thermal Energy: Measure the energy output of the sun by the time it takes to heat an object.

Nuclear Fission human: Make a model of nuclear fission using humans throwing foam.

Nuclear Fission magnetic model: Use a pile of magnets that releases energy when triggered.

Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2008

7 January 2008