Sent in by:
Ankit of Hawthorne Woods, IL
Create a buzz with this game!
- wire coat hanger
- aluminum foil
- 2 D batteries
- 12" x 12" piece of cardboard
- red and black electrical wire
- Check with an adult before you begin.
- In the ZOOMsci activity, Door Alarm, you can create a circuit that makes a buzzer sound when the circuit is completed. Steadiness Tester turns this idea into a game that will keep you buzzing.
- Remove the cardboard from a wire coat hanger. Untwist it.
- Use sandpaper to remove the coating on the hanger. This may take a while to do. Sanding the coat hanger makes it easier for electricity to pass from the coat hanger to anything metal that touches it.
- Make three flat strips and a long loop out of aluminum foil.
- Connect the two D batteries with one of the strips of foil. Be sure to connect the plus (positive) side of one battery to the minus (negative) side of the other so that electricity can flow between them.
- Tape the other two strips of foil to the other sides of the batteries.
- Tape one end of the hanger onto a piece of cardboard. The rest of the hanger should be sticking up from the cardboard.
- Attach the aluminum foil that leads to the positive side of the battery to the hanger, making sure that the two metals are touching. Tape the black wire of the buzzer to the aluminum foil that leads to the negative side of the battery.
- Tape the red wire and the aluminum foil loop together.
- Now everything is connected! See if you can move the loop of aluminum foil all the way along the coat hanger without buzzing. If you're not steady when you put the loop around the hanger, you will complete the circuit (the path that the electricity flows along) and the buzzer will buzz. The electricity can flow because all the materials in the circuit (conductors) are made of metal.
- How steady are you? If it's too easy or too hard you can redesign the path of the coat hanger or change the size of the aluminum foil loop.
Now that you see how a circuit works, try using circuits to invent another game. If you come up with something you think will create a buzz, send it to ZOOM.
Emily, age 11 of Queens, NY wrote:
I used a light bulb to test the kids in my class to see who had a steadier hand boys or girls. The girls won!
Angela, age 7 of Markham, ON wrote:
It buzzed when I touched the coat hanger to the wire.
Michael, age 7 of Keller, TX wrote:
I used a lightbulb instead of a buzzer, like Timothy did. Then, I used lots of different materials to connect the bulb to the circuit. The only thing that didn't work was plastic. I used a box too, to put all the parts (batteries, light bulb) in.
Amar, age 8 of Surrey, DC wrote:
Nothing happened when I tried the steadiness tester science experiment.
Timothy, age 10 of Deer Park, TX wrote:
I did the same thing, but I used the top of a flashlight. I screw the top off a flashlight and use the two wires to make the light shine when contract was made. One wire on the side of the metal flashlight in side and the other wire on the metal tip that touch the light bulb.