Applied Science - Physics (KB)
Post Lab 

  • Exploring electricity.
  • Discovering how electricity is made.


  • electricity
  • electron
  • Switch on, Switch off by Melvin Berger (optional)
  • large piece of paper
  • art material that represents electrons (i.e. pom poms)
  • glue
  • puff paint or crayons

Students are read a book on electricity.


Light switches can be found anywhere in the house: in kitchens, bedrooms, hallways, and even cellars. See if your students know what a light switch does? If you flip a switch up, a light comes on. When you flip the switch down, the light goes off. It almost seems like magic, but it's not. It's electricity.

Electricity is when electrons move in one direction.  The movement of the electrons can be static or current.  Static electricity means that the electrons go off in different directions.  Current electricity is when the electrons go through a conductor like copper wire. 

Young children do not know about electrons.  It is important for them to realize that everything has electrons and a nucleus with protons and neutrons inside.  The electrons can easily move away.  The electrons run around the nucleus in a defined pattern.  The first loop has two electrons, the second has eight, and so does the third loop.  

In this art activity children are learning the word nucleus and electrons.  It is so they can start to visualize the tiny atomic world. 


  1. Switch on, Switch off (Harper Collins) is an introduction to the topic of electricity and shows how magnetism is related to electricity. It explains about circuits, generators, light bulbs, and plugs. The book also shows students how to make electricity with the use of a magnet. (This may be difficult for kindergarten students and we recommend you skip this portion of the book.)
  2. Illustrate how electricity works by telling students that all substances are made up of electrons, protons, and neutrons. Electricity is when electrons all move together in the same direction. You can do the following with your class to illustrate this point. Go outside with students and tell them that electrons are all around. Have students each stand in one place and act like an electron minding its own business. Don't let them interact with each other. When you say "Switch On", have the students walk in the same direction, like in a parade. The flow of electrons will now cause electricity. "Switch Off", and the students should go back to being solitary electrons. Repeat the exercise until students get the idea that electrons moving in the same direction create electricity.
  3. Remember that neither you nor your students have to understand electrons to introduce the term.  Use a large piece of paper  (11"x17") and have the students create their own atom.  An atom consists of a nucleus (with protons and neutrons inside) and electrons revolving (and also rotating on their own axis) around the nucleus. Students should count out 1 large pom pom and 18 small ones.  Glue the pom poms as suggested in the picture and then paint (puff paint works well) the line of movement of each loop.   

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