Your students will create their own light-up name tags by learning how to create a simple circuit using foil, an LED and coin-cell battery. They will gain an understanding of a basic electric circuit. Best of all, they can wear their name tag and show it off to friends and family!
North Carolina Science Standards
4.P.1 Explain how various forces affect the motion of an object.
EX.4.P.1.2 Explain how electrically charged objects push or pull on other electrically charged objects and produce motion.
Electricity is all about electrons moving. When electrons move something happens. This is because electrons carry energy places.
Current electricity is what happens when electrons move along a path like a wire versus building up on something like in static electricity. Electrons’ flowing through a wire is a basic example of a circuit. Circuit looks like the word circle, this is important to remember because electrons need a complete path in order to flow; if the path is broken nothing happens. Electrons flow from a power source, to a component and back to the power source. When the electrons get to the component something happens. Something happening like lighting up your name tag! See Current Events.
1. Understanding current electricity and what a current is.
2. Ability to create a complete circuit using foil, coincell battery and LED
4. Practicing Patience
-Index Cards- enough for each student
-LED lights- enough for each student
-Coincell Batteries- enough for each student
1. Attach safety pins with tape on the back of all index cards
2. Pre-cut 2 squares of foil (about 6”x6”) per student
1. Content: Review content page on electricity with your students
2. Give every student and index card, 2 squares of foil, 1 LED and 1 coincell battery still in the packaging
3. Have them draw the circuit on the card explaining what each line stands for. Using this diagram ________
4. You or a volunteer should go around and hole punch where the light will poke through based on the diagram
5. During this, have them fold up the foil squares so the look like think lines, like this: ______
6. Now have each student tape down the pieces of foil along the lines they drew on the page
7. Have them place the battery in place by demonstrating as the follow your lead
8. Have them figure out which way the light should lay for the circuit to be completed and tape it down in place.
9. Flip it over and have them write their name and decorate it!
Have the same talk as before the name tag, but have them fill in more blanks and answer more questions.
Time Estimate: 45-60 minutes
What worked well:
This activity goes very well. It can be a challenging activity and will take a lot of patience on the teachers and students part. It may be helpful to have a short talk about patience and failing-up before doing this activity. This is more than worth it because students are so excited and proud when they see their final product!
What we would change:
We would make sure that we have at least 1 adult per 5 students so it is not so overwhelming for the teacher and students. Ensure all students are on the same step so no one is left behind.