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Electricity Projects For Kids

Here are some very easy and fun electricity projects for kids to do at home.

Simple Electric Motor

Electric motors help power many things. Kids can create a simple electric motor using materials from around the house. All they need is a D battery, a rubber band, two paper clips, a ceramic magnet, magnet wire, a toilet paper tube and some sandpaper. Start by wrapping the wire around the toilet paper tube - leaving part of both ends of the wire straight and extending from the coil. Use sandpaper to remove the insulation from both ends of the wire. Each paper clip is bent into a loop and is held onto the D battery by using the rubber band. The wire coil is then placed on the free ends of both paper clip loops, which form a cradle for the ends of the wire. The wire coil will slowly start to spin in place on top of the paper clip loops.


Electromagnet

Electromagnets use electricity to create a powerful magnet out of any piece of metal. They are used in many ways. For example, electromagnets are used in junkyard cranes. Kids can make a simple electromagnet using a piece of metal, insulated wire and a low volt DC power supply such as a large alkaline battery. For the metal, a nail works just fine. Kids simply wrap the piece of wire around the metal in tight, regular coils. They should cover as much of metal as possible. They then attach the free ends of the wire to the power source. A low level electrical current will flow around the metal, creating a magnetic pull. The magnet will now pick up small pieces of metal and stick to the refrigerator as long as the electrical current is connected. Disconnecting the power source turns off the magnet.

Bending Water

Water is one of the most important elements on Earth and one of the most primal. Electricity and water can interact in interesting ways that your child can illustrate in a simple way using static electricity. Turn on a source of water and let it run. Grab a comb or a balloon and rub it on your hair. You may also wish to rub a plastic rod on some wool. Make sure you do this vigorously to create maximum static electricity. Once you're finished, hold the object near the water. The water stream should bend away from the object. Move the object around the stream to see how the water reacts to the object. This is a great project for kids in a science fair as it requires little set up but has an impressive and immediate effect.


Fun Science project for kids.

Did you know ordinary cereal can be used to demonstrate the properties of static electricity in an engaging science project? Kids can learn to love science if they are given the opportunity to learn about it within the context of the word around them. Whether home on a break or just bored on the weekend, there are plenty of easy-to-do science projects kids can do at home. Fun science experiments can spur an interest in children who may or may not already be excited about science. This project demonstrates the properties of static electricity.

What you need:
•hard rubber or plastic comb, or a balloon
•thread
•scissors
•small pieces of O-shaped dry cereal, like Cheerios
•hair or wool sweater

Step 1: Cut the thread to be 12 inches long.

Step 2: Tie a piece of cereal to one end of the thread and tape the other end someplace that allows the string to swing freely. A table top works well. You don't want the cereal to hit anything else as it swings.

Step 3: Wash the comb with warm soapy water to remove any oils. Dry well.

Step 4: Charge the comb with electricity by running it through dry hair several times. If you don't want to use hair, you can rub the comb on a wool sweater instead.

Step 5: Moving slowly, move the comb near the cereal hanging on the string. As the comb gets closer, the cereal will swing to touch the comb. After a few moments, the charge will dissipate (go away) and the cereal will move away from the comb by itself.

Step 6: Try to touch the comb to the cereal again. It will move away as the comb approaches.

You can also use a balloon instead of a comb for this project.

Tips for Success:
This project works best when you use the part of the charged object (comb or balloon) that has the biggest charge. This will be the part that was rubbed against the hair or sweater.

The swinging cereal project works best on dry days.

Why Does This Happen?
When you comb your hair or rub the comb (or balloon) against the wool sweater, electrons move from your hair or the sweater to the comb. The comb then has a negative static charge. Because the cereal is neutral, it is attracted to the negative charge of the comb like a magnet. When they touch, electrons start moving from the comb to the cereal. Once both objects have the same negative charge, the cereal is no longer attracted to the comb.

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Home Made Energy

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