Teacher Site Map
5th Grade Core
USOE Science Home Page
USOE

I Made It Myself!

You have learned a lot about static electricity. You know that static electricity is not the kind of electricity that is used in your home. For electricity to be useful it must provide a constant, uninterrupted supply of power. How is this done?

In order for us to use electricity, it must flow continuously. Current electricity is electric energy that flows, like the electricity that flows through the wires leading to your computer. Current electricity is energy in motion. It is electric energy that moves from one place to another. Current electricity is used when energy flows from a battery, through wires, to light a light bulb.

 

Do it!

You can make your own electric current by following the directions below.

Materials:

  • Penny (With a mint date before 1982)
  • Lemon
  • Nickel

Procedure:.

  1. Wash the coins with soap and a brush. Rinse with water and dry.
  2. Roll the lemon a few times on the counter.
  3. Make two parallel cuts very close together in the lemon.
  4. Insert penny in one cut and a nickel in the other cut. The coins can be very close but must not touch each other.
  5. Touch both coins with your tongue at the same time.
  6. Explain what happens. How does this activity relate to electricity?

Imagine you have a circuit containing a 1.5 volt battery, switch and a light bulb all properly connected into a complete circuit.

1. Predict what could happen if you replaced the red wire with a broken wire.

2. Predict what could happen if you if you replaced the red wire with another wire the same length but only as big as a hair.

3. Predict what could happen if you replaced the blue wire with a wire that is the same length but 3 times bigger.

4. Predict what could happen if you replaced the red and blue insulated wires with bare wires.

5. Predict what could happen if you replaced the 1.5 volt light bulb with a 6 volt light bulb.

6. Predict what could happen if you added a second 1.5 volt battery so the total voltage was 3 volts.

7. Predict what could happen if you replaced the 1.5 volt light bulb with a 12 volt fan motor.

8. Predict what could happen if you replaced the 1.5 volt light bulb with a 1.5 volt bell.

Check your answers by highlighting the box below!

1. Light stops working 2. Light gets dimmer 3. Light gets brighter 4. No change 5. Light gets dimmer 6.Light gets brighter 7. Fan does not work 8. Doorbell works fine

 

Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.
Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 5th grade science core.


Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

Science Home Page | Curriculum Home Page | 5th Science Core Home Page | USOE Home Page


Copyright Utah State Office of Education.