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Science Experiment: Electric Circuit

Hi kids, parents, and teachers! Science projects and experiments can be fun. However, be sure to always have a parent or teacher supervising to make sure things are safe!

Purpose: To give students an opportunity to explore simple and complex circuits in both series and parallel configurations. For more information on this subject see Electricity for Kids.

Materials (per group) Procedure
  1. Have students explore creating a circuit that has the basic components (conductor, load, and power source). The bulb must light, and they should use the fewest number of wires possible.
  2. Have students draw a diagram of the circuit in their science journals and label it Circuit A.
  3. Have students now create a circuit that lights two lamps. Again, students should use the fewest number of wires.
  4. Have students draw a diagram of the circuit in the science journals and label it Circuit B.
  5. Ask students to predict what will happen when they unscrew one of the lamps and write their prediction in their science journals.
  6. Test the prediction and record.
  7. Have students explore possible ways to construct a circuit that will light two lamps and that will also allow one lamp to stay lit when the other is unscrewed.
  8. Once they have discovered a circuit that works, have each of them draw a diagram of the circuit and label it Circuit C.
  9. Have students compare the brightness of the two lamps and observe the brightness as one lamp is unscrewed. Students will note any change and record it in their science journals.
  10. Give students an opportunity to explore creating circuits and drawing a diagram for each circuit they create.


Conclusion

  1. Compare diagrams of Circuit A and Circuit B. How are they alike? How are they different?
  2. What happened when you took one of the lamps out of Circuit B?
  3. Compare diagrams of Circuit B and Circuit C. How are they alike? How are they different?
  4. What happened when you took one of the lamps out of Circuit C? Explain why this happened.
  5. Describe the brightness of the lamps in each circuit. Why did the brightness differ?


Reference: NASA SciFiles



More Electricity Experiments:
Homemade Battery - Learn how batteries work.
Static Electricity - What is static electricity and how does it work?

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