# Experiments With Electricity

There are lots of cool experiments with electricity that you can do at home with your kids.

## Materials

To perform electricity experiments with kids from 1st through 8th grade you need these materials:

• electrical wire: a couple of feet from your local hardware store or you can buy the type with alligator clips from a science supplier.  If you want enough for each child, you’ll need one set of alligator clips per kid or 1 foot of plain old wire per kid.
• D batteries: one per child, at least
• flashlight bulb: one per child
• electrical tape: to hold the wire on to the other components
• Multimeter: measures voltage and resistance, one to share.  For larger groups you’ll need several, one per four kids.
• Electrode Set: conducts electricity, useful for passing electricity through liquids or for making the potato battery below.  One set per child.

Optional, but nice to have:

• Battery holder: easy to attach the alligator clips, keeps things in order, looks cool.
• Bulb holder: no tape required, feels more “professional”, keeps the bulb from rolling all over.
• Friction Rod: used for static electricity projects, just rub it to make sparks in a dark room.
• Solar cell: for experiments with solar electricity, charge a battery, make a bulb glow, check your power with a multimeter.
• Knife Blade switch: connect it to your circuit to easily open and close the circuit (turn it off and on)

## Experiments With Electricity To Try

• Create a circuit: learn what a circuit is and how to make one yourself (This should be the first lesson you do)
• Conductors and Insulators: which materials conduct electricity and which do not?  (This should be the second lesson you do, after this, go ahead and pick and choose in any order)
• Make a Potato Battery: Potatoes, lemons, and other organic matter have electricity stored, see how that works out here.
• Static electricty, homemade battery, and an electromagnet: more stuff to do with electricity, requires pennies, balloons, foil, paper towels, and a large nail, plus more.
• Solar energy: make a motor run off sunlight, experiment with different conditions.  You need a solar panel, an electric motor and some wire.
• Build a small DC motor:  a kit to understand the principles of a basic electrical motor.
• Orsted’s Experiment: recreate the experiment that discovered the connection between electricity and magnetism, requires the knife blade switch, a horseshoe magnet, and some household items.
• Make your own flashlight: materials above, plus some household stuff.
• How Electrodes and Electrolytes Affect Voltage: Sorta scientific in language, best for middle grades and up.  Bottom line is that different chemicals and metal make better conductors than others.
• Build a solar powered toy car: you need some household stuff, a soldering iron, solder, and an electric motor, plus other stuff.  You can find many You Tube videos showing how to build a solar powered toy car as well.