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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!
Science Experiment: Electric Circuit
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)
- 2 lamp (bulb) holders
- 2 lamps (bulbs)
- 1 D cell battery
- 1 D cell battery holder
- 6 pieces of insulated wire, 25-30 cm long with ends stripped
- science journal
- 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.
- Have students draw a diagram of the circuit in their science journals and label it Circuit A.
- Have students now create a circuit that lights two lamps. Again, students should use the fewest number of wires.
- Have students draw a diagram of the circuit in the science journals and label it Circuit B.
- Ask students to predict what will happen when they unscrew one of the lamps and write their prediction in their science journals.
- Test the prediction and record.
- 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.
- Once they have discovered a circuit that works, have each of them draw a diagram of the circuit and label it Circuit C.
- 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.
- Give students an opportunity to explore creating circuits and drawing a diagram for each circuit they create.
- Compare diagrams of Circuit A and Circuit B. How are they alike? How are they different?
- What happened when you took one of the lamps out of Circuit B?
- Compare diagrams of Circuit B and Circuit C. How are they alike? How are they different?
- What happened when you took one of the lamps out of Circuit C? Explain why this happened.
- 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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