STEM Tuesdays:
Battery Circuits

Happy STEM Tuesday! Today we’re going to learn about circuits. Here’s what you’ll need:

Materials & Instructions

A nine-volt battery
A small snippet of twinkle lights. If you have an old strand with sections that you’ve been meaning to throw away, now is the perfect time to repurpose it. Grown-ups, you can use wire cutters to cut the strands.


STEP 1: Take the wires at one end of your twinkle lights and put them on one of the snap connectors at the end of your battery.

Nine volt batteries have both connectors on the same end; the smaller circular one is positive, while the larger hexagonal one is negative. Some other batteries, like AA batteries, have their positive and negative sides on opposite ends of the battery instead of on the same end.

STEP 2: Take the wires at the other end of your twinkle lights and put them on the other snap connector. Voila!

What happened?
We created a circuit. When we connected the two ends of our twinkle lights to the two connectors on the battery, we created a path for electricity to travel along. The electricity was able to travel out of the positive connector, through the twinkle lights, and back into the battery through the negative connector!

What happens if you take one side of your twinkle lights off of the battery? The light goes out, doesn’t it? That’s because our electricity doesn’t have a path to travel along any more.

VOCAB WORDS

Circuit: A path for electricity to travel. Electricity travels out of a power source and back into the power source through a circuit.
Electricity: A special kind of energy caused by teeny tiny particles called electrons and protons traveling around.
Battery: A battery creates electricity and can be used as a power source to do things like make flashlights work, power remote controls, and more!
Switch: Switches make or break circuits. They can either complete the path for electricity to travel or break it so that electricity cannot travel back into a power source.

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