Apr 21, 2012

Make your own electrical switch

The kids made their own electrical switches. The idea for the experiment came from the battery section of the Discover and Do science experiment curriculum.

They poked brads through a piece of cardboard. A paperclip was attached to one of the brads. They attached wires to a light, battery and both sides of the switch. Next, the paper clip was moved to complete the circuit. Unfortunately it didn't work and the light wouldn't turn on. Perhaps it was because the brads were painted white? Anyways, I then encouraged them to create and test their own switches.

 My son made his switch from paperclips.

This time the experiment worked.

My daughter created her switch from quarters.

Her switch worked too.

This post is linked to 
Hearts for Home

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  1. OOH I would like directions on how your kiddos did this. i just came home from the states with a box of this kind of stuff from Radio shack so we can do electric stuff for our science. I will be checking out the book you mention as well.

    Kids did a great job figuring it out for them selves:)

    1. It's actually from a DVD series. The kids watch a short clip (3 minutes) and then do the experiment. The experiment is actually very simple. The pictures show most of it. The wires are just insulated copper with the ends sticking out. If you touch the ends to a battery and then to the light the light should go on. They just added a "switch" in the circuit so that the continuous metal path could be easily broken (off) or made continuous again (on).

  2. this is AWESOME!!!! thank you for linking this up! we are totally pinning this one!

  3. This is great! I can't wait to try it with my kids. Your step by step photos are awesome! Coming over to visit from Look What We Did. :-)

  4. I love experiments like this. I agree the brad probably didn't work because of the paint.

  5. Wow, another great STEM activity....honestly, I never new switches were based on such a simple concept....I think my 6 year old would understand this! Yipee!!!! Something to add to the Summer "I'm Bored Jar!" Thanks for linking up at our STEM-themed linky!

  6. After our simple circuit I think we will have to try switches next, really liking the coin idea

  7. what a great circuit but be aware because these can lose

  8. Kudos to your Kids! they did a great job with this hands-on switch experiment. This discovery learning will stay with them all their life.
    stopping by from Hearts for Home


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