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Science on the Road


It's Electric

Now that you've seen the program, try this fun experiment:

Citrus Power

2 pieces of electrical wire (insulation stripped 1.25 cm from each end)
1 brass thumbtack
1 flashlight bulb
1 steel paperclip
1/2 lemon

What to do:

  1. Wrap the end of one wire around the paperclip, and the other end around the metal tip of the light bulb. Tape it in place if you need to.
  2. Wrap the end of the second wire around the thumbtack, and the other end around the screw-base of the bulb.
  3. Push one end of the paperclip into the left side of the lemon. Push the thumbtack into the right side of the lemon. The bulb should light up, if all of the electrical connections are in place.
  4. The acid in the lemon causes a chemical reaction with the metals. The one metal becomes negatively charged and the other positively charged. The electrons flow from one end to the other and light the bulb.

Vocabulary Words:
Current electricitycomes from a battery or power station; a constant flow of energy
Static electricityan electrical charge that builds up in one place
Turbinea set of wheels, powered by steam that create electricity
Batterya group of connected chemical cells that convert chemical energy into electrical energy to produce electric current
Circuita complete path around which an electric current can flow

Taylor, Barbara – More Power to You! Polacco, Patricia – Thundercake Bigham, Jane – The Usborne Book of Science Experiments Ehrlich, Robert – What if? Mind Boggling Science Questions for Kids VanCleave, Janice – Science Around the Year The Usborne Book of Science – Usborne Publishing Ltd.

Internet Sites for Kids:
Bill Nye, the Science Guy
Kids World - Science
The Science Club
Dragonfly Magazine

Internet Sites for Teachers:
Science and Math Initiatives
Encarta Lesson Collection

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