- Simple Machines
- LESSON PLANS
- Electricity and Circuits
- Engineering Design Process
- Green Design
- Helping Others
- Simple Machines
Download Project GuideEnglish PDF (1.6MB)
Design and build a circuit: an "electric highway" that connects a battery and buzzer at least three feet apart using four types of materials.
- AA battery
- AA battery holder (optional)
- Wire strippers
- Duct tape
Choose at least four conductors:
- Aluminum foil
- Electrical wire
- Binder clips
- Rubber bands
- Paper cups
- Cardboard tubes
- Twist ties
- How can you get electricity to travel three feet?
- Which materials are conductors?
- How will you know electricity is flowing?
- A circuit is a path along which electricity can travel. A conductor is a material that electricity can flow through.
- When all parts of the circuit are connected, electricity flows from the battery to the buzzer and back to the battery...turning on the buzzer. A break in the connection stops electricity from flowing.
DESIGN AND BUILD
- Tape the battery to a table but keep the buzzer loose so you can keep making the circuit longer. When it reaches three feet and uses four conductors, you've done it! HINT: Test your highway as you build.
TEST AND REDESIGN
Is your buzzer not buzzing?
- Are all the materials you used conductors?
- Is there good contact between all parts of the circuit?
NOTE: The buzzer only works when its red wire connects to the positive (+) side of the battery and its black wire to the negative (-) side.
INSIDE THE ENGINEERING
You made electricity flow over a long distance—just like engineers do. By connecting conductors together, you can power a computer, a house, or a city!
Make your electric highway even longer by adding more conductors. See how far you can make electricity flow!