Learning About Electricity

Today and yesterday we learned lots about electricity.

We found out that there are three types of electricity: mains (plug in) electricity, batteries and static electricity.

We were able to classify which familiar items use mains electricity, or batteries, or both.

We talked  about how to stay safe around electricity.

We used balloons to generate static electricity (best done with our hair or with teacher’s woolly jumper), and then used these balloons and ball point pens to get tissue snakes, pieces of paper and shapes to float!  Static electricity looks like magic!

We made circuits using our hands and a light torch or hands and a musical touch game.  It was fun tapping each other and hearing/seeing the circuit break and re-form.

We also learned a lot about circuits and circuit symbols.  We lit bulbs using two wires a battery and a bulb, and then one wire a battery and a bulb.  We also used Bright Sparks 4 Kids kits to try out our various questions:

Can we made a circuit and get a bulb to light, or a buzzer to sound, or a motor to twist?

Can we add a switch?

Does it matter which wires go in which direction?

What happens to the bulb/buzzer/motor if we add more than one battery?

How many batteries will it take to light an LED lamp?

How many batteries will it take to light two LED lamps?

What will happen if a battery is upside down?

Can we add different materials (like tin-foil or paper) to the circuit to check whether each material is a conductor or an insulator?

We were able to answer all these questions by trying them out for ourselves using the “Bright Sparks 4 Kids” kits.  Making electric circuits is fun, but we know that we need to be very sensible and careful with electricity because it can be dangerous too!