Brief Description: Students use their knowledge of electricity and magnetism to solve different electricity and magnetism problems.

Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Time: 1 hour

Keywords: circuits, electromagnets, magnetism, electricity, static electricity


Lesson Objectives

  • Students will review the concepts of circuits, static electricity, and electromagnetism by completing various challenges

Materials

  • Challenge #1:
    • Balloons
    • Paper
  • Challenge #2:
    • 9 V batteries
    • Play-doh
    • LED lights
  • Challenge #3:
    • Pencils

Procedure

  1. Introduce “Challenge Day”. Students will use the electricity and magnetism concepts they have learned throughout the semester to complete challenges.
  2. Challenge #1: Students must pick up a piece of paper without using their hands. They will be provided with a balloon and a piece of paper. Allow students to figure this out. They may not be given the next challenge until they can explain what they did and why it worked.
  3. Challenge #2: Students must build a circuit using a battery, play-doh, and LED lights. The circuit must be able to light 2 LEDs are bright as possible. They may not be given the next challenge until they can explain what they did and why it worked.
  4. Challenge #3: Students must answer a series of True/False questions. These can be written on the board and they can answer them on a separate piece of paper or they can be printed out as a worksheet.
    1. Every Magnetic material contains at least some metal
    2. The ends of a magnet are called “positive” and “negative”
    3. The larger a magnet is, the stronger it is
    4. Aluminum foil is not magnetic
    5. Building an electromagnet involves making a circuit
    6. In the electromagnets that you made, the paper clip supplied the voltage

Extensions and Modifications

  • If students finish early, it is a good idea to have a few extra challenges for them to complete. A few ideas include:
    • Build a parallel and a series circuit and explain the difference between them
    • Draw some circuit diagrams on the board and have the students build them
    • Draw some circuit diagrams with errors and have the students tell you what is wrong with each diagram.
    • Challenge the students to act out electricity

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