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Electricity (Concepts) Theme Page

Below are the CLN "Theme Pages" that support the study of electricity and magnetism. CLN's theme pages are collections of useful Internet educational resources within a narrow curricular topic and contain links to two types of information. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are links to instructional materials (lesson plans), which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme.

Electronics (Circuitry) Theme Page

Lightning Theme Page

Magnetism Theme Page

General Electricity Resources

Here are a number of links to other Internet resources that contain information and/or other links related to the concepts of electricity. Please read our disclaimer.

AC/DC what's the Difference
A PBS website that uses animation and simple explanations as an introduction to the principles of electricity.

Articles on "Electricity"
The author of this site has many articles that describe and discuss a number of interesting electricity related concepts. Some of the articles present information on topics such as: common misconceptions of electricity, what is electricity, lightning, static electricity, and more. Also included on this page are plans for more than fifteen simple electrical devices.

AskERIC Lesson Plans: Physical Sciences
The link is to AskEric's Physical Science page, if you wish to browse/search their site yourself. Or, use the links below to go directly to some lesson plans specifically about electricity/magnetism.
  • Attracting Balloons Static electricity for intermediate students.
  • Brown Bag Science This lesson plan, designed for grade 1-5 students, will help learners investigate and understand the concept of electricity. Students draw and construct simple circuits using the vocabulary associated with electricity.
  • Static Electricity Intermediate students use an inquiry method to learn about static electricity.

[The] Atoms Family
Designed for K-8 students, this site uses the "The Adams Family" characters as metaphors. For broad topics related to electricity including: kinetic and potential energy; atoms and matter; conservation and energy transfer; and light, waves and particles. The following link is direct to their pages on electricity.

Bizarre Stuff You Can Make In Your Kitchen
This site is an ever growing warehouse of the kinds of projects some of the more demented of us tried as young people, collecting in one place many of the classic, simple science projects that have become part of the collective lore of amateur science. It is a sort of warped semi-scientific cookbook of tricks, gimmicks, and pointless experimentation, concoctions, and devices, using, for the most part, things found around the house. These are the classics. Strange goo, radios made from rusty razor blades, crystal gardens... amateur mad scientist stuff. If you happen to learn something in the process, consider yourself a better person for it.

[The] Electric Pickle
By using electricity in an experiment, this site shows the "how to and why" the phenomenon of the glowing pickle occurs.

Electricity and Magnetism
More than a dozen experiments on electricity and magnetism designed for intermediate students.

Elements of AC Electricity
A collection of tutorials presenting a wide range of topics in electricity. These topics include: AC Waveform, Inductance, Inductor Circuits, Direct-Current RL Circuits, Inductive Reactance, and many more.

Just For Kids
This site has information about electricity and safety, energy and water experiment, games, and links to other exciting Websites.

Physical Science Activity Manual
This Manual contains 34 hands-on activities that can be downloaded in either MAC (MS WORD) or Windows (WordPerfect) versions. Individual chapters may be downloaded by clicking the appropriate version beside the title.

Learning About Renewable Energy
Consumer Energy Information Fact Sheet; a complete dissertation from the U.S. Dept. of Energy about renewable energy sources. The site has a glossary and links to other sites for more information.

Power Failure
In this lesson plan, grade 5 students learn about the importance of electricity to societies in the world by using the Internet to collect data from keypals.

Project PHYSLab
Project PHYSLab has a collection of high school physics labs (including some for Electricity) developed by participants in an annual, three-week workshop. This link is to the home page of the project. From there, enter "Labs Available Online" to find the labs. Since each of these is done by a different teacher, the quality of the lab and the detail associated with it will vary.

Science Lab
Here's a collection of science experiments that explore various physics concepts within the oil industry. Experiments have a teacher's guide and can be related to informational articles within the site's "Science Watch." Electricity-related experiments are Building an Electrical Logging Tool and the Electrical Resistivity of Materials.

Smile Program Physics Index
Teachers participating in the SMILE (Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enhancement) summer session programs each create a single concept lesson plan. This database has over 30 lesson plans in their section on Electricity and Magnetism. Caution: Since there is a wide number of authors who have contributed to the database, the detail and quality of the lesson plans will vary.

Snacks about Electricity
"Snacks" from the Exploratorium are miniature science exhibits that teachers can make using common, inexpensive, easily available materials. This page has about a dozen activities/experiments on electricity.

Static Electricity Page
A Website full of projects, articles and forums about static electricity.

Theater of Electricity
Using a Van de Graaff generator as a source of electricity, the site has a number of pages demonstrating some of the behavior of electricity. The generator creates static electricity and is studied in different experiments simulating lightning. After viewing the site, you can interact with a lightning safety quiz. The following link is to the site's collection of lesson activities.

Virtual Labs and Simulations
Here's a collection of links to sites on the Web that have computerized simulations of physics principles that allow students to see a visual demonstration of a scientific concept, often in animated form. In addition, the student may be given the opportunity to manipulate one or more variables underlying the concept and then witness the changes. There are about 30 labs/simulations in electricity. Labs cover topics in Ohm's law, circuits, Kirchhoff, resistors, measurement, charge, force, field, and more.

"Watt's" on Your Mind
Help Dr. Frank N. Stein bring the monster to life by having students participate in the interactive game. A great site for elementary grades about wasting energy.

Watts Up With the Heat?
In this lesson plan, grade 6-12 students "create a variety of simple, series, and parallel electrical circuits to illustrate how electricity flows through different types of basic circuits and to understand the practical applications of these types of circuits. Students then apply their knowledge of electrical circuits to the loss of power in the midst of July 1999's heat wave, determining how electrical power systems fail in extreme heat, how "load shedding" is used to reduce strain on power sources, and how power outages can be prevented in the future." They use a New York Times article as a starting point for their explorations.

What is Static Electricity?
Static electricity is described in terms of atoms, electrical charges, conservation of charge, and Coulomb's Law. Designed with middle and high-school students in mind, the "I CAN READ" section is for students with low reading skills. The page includes four hands-on projects teachers can try with their students.

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Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Electricity (Concepts). For other resources in Science (e.g., curricular content in Earth Science, General Science, Life Science, or Physical Science), or for lesson plans and theme pages, click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu, which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.

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