Script for

This slideshow is designed for 3-5th grade.  Main focus is to connect electrons with electricity and to go over the importance of electricity. g

Slide 1.

·       Ask students to imagine life without electricity. We would not be able to do a lot of the things we do and enjoy today.

·       During today’s fieldtrip we will go over what electricity is, play with static electricity, and work with current electricity and make circuits.

Slide 2 Does electricity occur naturally?

·       Yes, electricity occurs naturally. An example is lightning and static electricity.

·       We can also produce electricity

 Slide 3 – What is electricity?

·       Think of the word “electricity”. What does it sound like? Electron. This is no coincidence; the terms are related.

·       All matter is composed of atoms, which in turn are composed of three particles. Protons and neutrons, which are found inside the nucleus, and electrons which orbit around the nucleus. Protons and neutrons cannot be easily removed from atoms, but electrons are fairly easy to remove.

·       The outermost electrons are valence electrons, and can move easily

·       -Show the plasma ball. Plasma is an ionized gas, free-flowing positive ions and electrons.

·       Touch the plasma ball, the plasma will come toward your finger.

·       Hold the Gauss meter close to the plasma ball. The meter will make a sound. The meter measures electrons which are escaping/flowing.

·       When electrons are moving around, this is called static electricity.

·       Hold the large fluorescent light tube to the plasma ball, the tube will start to light up. This shows the electrons moving from the ball to the light.   Repeat this with the Plasma Disc. 

·       Why does the electricity stop at the hands? Your body is grounded. The electricity will flow through the light bulb; it will travel from your hands to the ground where it is discharged.

Slide 4 – Generating Static

·       Can we generate electricity with our bodies? Yes!

·       We can make static electricity by stripping electrons from our body to an object, such as a balloon. The balloon will become negatively charged, and it will stick to an object that is positively charged.

·       We can also generate electricity with our bodies by converting mechanical energy to physical energy. Demonstrate the hand crank. When you turn the crank you are using mechanical energy, the device converts it to electricity.

 Slide 5 – Benjamin Franklin  

·       Franklin was a Statesman and scientist, among other things. Franklin experiment with electricity and would demonstrate properties of electricity all over Europe.

·       Franklin discovered electricity was a power that we can use. He used Leyden jars, which are very early batteries. Leyden jars can hold an electrical charge.

·       Franklin noticed that you can hook up several Leyden jars and create what was called the Franklin Battery.  The first storage and then completing the circuit.

·       Franklin also developed a way to generate electrons through a generator. 

·       Franklin is also noted for developing lightning rods. Electrons that are discharged from lightning would start fires if they hit a house. Franklin would sell metal rods that would be higher than the house and go down the side of the house into the ground.   He would then offer insurance that their house would not go up in flames.    Lightning will be attracted to the rod, and strike the rod rather than the roof. The electricity then travels down the rod into the ground where it is safely discharged.

·       In 1730, Philadelphia would experience a devastating fire in the Fishbourn’s wharf, destroying all the stores and several homes in the area. A local by the name of Benjamin Franklin believed the tragic event could’ve been greatly contained with the most basic of firefighting instruments. This spurred him to create Philadelphia’s first volunteer firefighting department, the Union Fire Company.

·       Before long, Franklin decided to also financially protect the residents’ homes and valuables from fires. So in 1752 he founded the first insurance company in America, The Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insuring of Houses from Loss by Fire. The firm would go on to sell 143 policies in the first year, paving the way for insurance companies and earned Franklin the moniker of “the father of American insurance.”

Slide 6 – Static Electricity

·       All electrons are spinning. Half spin one way, and half spin the other way. Static electricity is the discharge of electrons in different directions in packets. It is brief. That is why you get a momentary shock, and why the small bulbs only lit up briefly.

 Slide 7 – Static Electricity

·       Tell students that they will not use the electrons from their body to light up a florescent bulb.  Students have to rub and then quickly almost touch the electrodes.  It will have a burst of light.

·       Show this slide to reinforce that static electricity is momentary.   

 Slide 8 – Current Electricity

·       Show the energy ball. When you touch the electrode it lights up and makes a noise.

·       Hold the energy ball in one hand, have the students hold hands and have one student touch the electrode. If everyone is holding hands the energy ball will light up. This works because by holding hands we are completing a circuit.

·       Current electricity is different than static electricity. Current electricity occurs when the flow of electrons is controlled and moves through a conductor (typically a wire).

·       -With the energy ball we were the “wire”.

·       A battery has two ends, a positive and a negative. Electrons are negative and will be attracted to the positive end. The electrons will flow through the conductor from the negative to the positive.

·       This is why when batteries are put in the wrong way they will not work. The electrons cannot flow.

Slide 9 – Open and closed circuits  

·       Current energy is the flow of electrons in one direction.  It is what we use to power our homes and appliances.

·       When the circuit is closed electrons will flow from the power source to the light. When the circuit is open the electrons will not flow.

·       Note that the positive is always attached to the negative.   The flow is always in that direction.

 Slide 10 – Series Circuit.

       ·       There are two main typed of circuits. This is a series circuit. There are a series of conductors between all of the lights, the conductors will go from negative to positive.
        ·       In a series circuit if one part is turned off/disconnected, the other parts will not receive any electricity.
The first part of the next activity will to make a small series circuit with a partner and then the table will make a larger series circuit.  The all the tables will connect and make one big series circuit.

Slide 11 –  Parallel circuit

       ·       This is a parallel circuit. There is still a connection between positive and negative, but the conductors go from positive to positive, and negative to negative.
All of the lights in a parallel circuit will still work if one is disconnected.
After we make a series circuit, then each table will attempt a parallel circuit.  (Note some classes like 3 and 4th may not be able to do this part.  However, 5th graders should be able to do.)

 Slide 12 – Circuits
·       Put all the materials away, and sit down to go over what they observed.
If Mrs. Smith was at home and turned off the lights, what would happen if there was a series circuit.  All the lights will go out.  Would that happen with a parallel circuit system.
Ask students which circuit is the better type? It is the parallel circuit.

 Slide 13 – Power generation  

       ·       The activity involved making small circuits to bring electricity to small light bulbs. But how is electricity made and transported on a large scale? There are several ways to generate electricity, but they all rely on the same principle – generators.
·       Generators – convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. A conductor (coil of wire) is placed between two magnets. Copper wire is commonly used for this because it has a large supply of free electrons. Some sort of mechanical energy is needed to turn the turbine (shaft) of the conductor, as the conductor spins it generates electricity by directing the flow of electrons. The amount of electrons moving through the conductor is the amperage, the force behind the electrons is the voltage.

Slide 14 – Hydroelectric power

·       ~10% of all US power. A dam on a river is used to store water in a reservoir.

·       Water is released from the reservoir and flows through a turbine. The turbine spins, which activates a generator to produce electricity.

Slide 15 – Wind power  

·       ~ 4% of all US power. Wind is used to spin the blades of the turbine.

·        The turbine spins and activates a generator.

 Slide 16 –Nuclear power

·       20% of all US power. Fission (splitting) of uranium atoms generates heat.

·       The heat produced by fission turns water to steam, the steam is then used to spin a turbine. The steam is cooled by a condenser (which is a pipe with cold water); once the water is back in a liquid state it is pumped back to the steam generator to be heated again.

 Slide 17 – Fossil fuel

·       Coal, oil, natural gas. These substances are burned to heat water.

·       The water turns to steam and spins a turbine.

 Slide 18 – Solar power

·       The sun heats up photovoltaic discs (crystalline silicon). This generates DC current. An inverter than converts DC to AC, which is used in homes.

 Slide 19 – Magnets

·       This reiterates the concept of generators. A conductor spins between two magnets.

 Slide 20 – Electricity and Machines

·       Again, ask the students to imagine all the things they use that need electricity to function. You can ask the students to summarize something they learned, something they found fun, something they found interesting, etc.

 Slide 21.  The End 

·       What would the world look like at night without electricity.

·       It would be dark.