Simple Electric Circuit
Check the content of your kit. The Simple Electric Circuit Kit includes:
Make a Simple Electric Circuit
A Simple Electric Circuit is a circuit including a power source (battery), a resistor (light bulb) and a switch connected to each other in series (meaning that wires connect the battery to the switch, the switch to the light bulb and the light bulb back to the other end of the battery).
Connection of wires to the battery holder, switch and the lamp base are usually done using the screws or clips. You can use household tools such as a pair of scissors to cut the wire and remove the insulation from the contact points. You will also need a D size battery to power your circuit.
Use the picture bellow to see how you must mount the components on the board. Use small mounting screws to mount the battery holder, the switch and the lamp holder to the appropriate places on the board. A screw driver and assistance of an expert adult may be required.
Test your circuit:
Insert the battery, screw a light bulb into the lamp holder and close the switch. The light bulb must light up. If it does not check all the contacts and try again. You may also need to check the battery and the light bulb.
for Science Projects
These two experiments are described bellow:
Experiment 1: Can electricity create heat?
Introduction: Electricity and heat are two different types of energy. In physics we learn that energy cannot be destroyed. It can only be converted to other types of energy. In this project we intend to show that electrical energy can be converted to heat. For this experiment you will use your simple electric circuit, a glass thermometer and a clock that can show seconds.
Make sure the switch is open and the light is off. Place the bulb of a glass thermometer on the top of your light bulb and cover both with black electrical tape so that the light cannot leak out. Let this sit at room for 10 minutes to make sure that everything is at room temperature. Record the temperature shown on the thermometer, set your clock and turn on the switch on the top of the hour. Read and record the temperature every 60 seconds (one minute). Your data table may look like this:
Experiment 2: Identify conductors and insulators around you. or
What Materials are Conductors of Electricity?
Introduction: By learning about conductors and insulators we can keep ourselves and our electrical equipment safe. Every year thousands of children and adults around the world are electrocuted because they did not use proper insulation while contacting with electrical wires or equipment. So much loss of life is a clear signal that every one must learn about electricity and safeguarding it by using insulators. This experiment is a fundamental step toward such education.
Procedure: Make sure the switch in your simple electric circuit is open and the light is off. Then place different objects between the poles of the switch one at a time. If placing the object between the poles of the switch can close the circuit and the light bulbs turns on, then the object is conductive. If the light does not come on, then the object is an insulator. Some of the objects you may try are: Coins, nails, gold and silver pieces, paper clips, safety pins, Pencil and the pencil's lead, rubber, wood, plastics, glass and aluminum foil.
Your results table may look like this:
Warning: The voltage (electrical power) of a battery (also known as dry cell) is usually about 1.5 Volts. When a material is insulator for 1.5 volt, it may be conductive for higher voltages. Even air is conductive for high voltages. You must be more careful as you start experimenting with higher voltages in future.
Why don't the birds get killed when they sit on high voltage electrical cables?
This is a common question for those who know "most high voltage electrical cables have no insulation.". The answer is simple. High voltage electricity can kill if it passes trough your body. When birds sit on the power cable, the electrical current cannot pass trough their body because no part of their body is touching the ground or any other wire. With the same token, someone wearing thick rubber shoes may touch a 110 volt electrical cable with one hand and stay safe; however, the same person may get electrocuted if he is touching a moist concrete wall or a water pipe with his other hand. For very high voltages such as 6000 volts, no insulation can protect us and we must stay at least 5 feet away from such high voltage cables. (That is why such cables don't have any insulation on them).