Children learn about the appearance and function of different electrical components, including switches, bulbs, buzzers, motors, cells and wires. They match pictures of each component to their electrical symbols. They cut and paste descriptions of how each component functions, or write their own.
Children learn that electrical cells produce a flow of electrons (current) through the reaction of 2 chemicals inside them. They learn that one measure of the power of a cell is voltage (V) and that connecting cells in series adds their voltages together. Children investigate the effect of changing the number of cells in a circuit. They create the circuits shown in the illustrations, attempt to draw the circuit diagrams, and explain what they observed. They attempt to place the circuits in order of brightness and explain why.
Children look at 6 circuit diagrams. They predict how bright the bulbs will be in each circuit and place them in order of brightness. Using simple apparatus, they construct the circuits shown in the diagrams and test their predictions. They try to explain what they observed.
Using the template and illustration provided, children create their own wire loop game. They attempt to get the wand from one end of the loop to the other without triggering the bulb or buzzer. Children explain how their game functions and attempt to draw a circuit diagram for their game.
Using the illustration provided, children construct their own burglar alarm. They construct their own switch using a clothes peg and a card insulator which is attached to the area being surveilled. Children draw a circuit diagram for their burglar alarm and explain how it works.
Children learn about how traffic lights are central to road safety. They use simple apparatus to construct a set of traffic lights, with a single switch (which they construct themselves) turning two lights on and off in turn. Children create a suitable casing for their traffic lights. They consider how they could construct a 3-way traffic light.
Children look at 5 different defective circuit illustrations. They explain why each circuit will not work. They change each circuit so that it will work, showing this in a circuit diagram. They test their improvements with simple apparatus.
Children learn that electrical components can be represented by symbols in circuit diagrams. They learn that wires are always shown as unbroken horizontal or vertical lines. Children look at 8 different circuit illustrations. They draw an accurate circuit diagram for each illustration and, if possible, create the circuit using simple apparatus.