To demonstrate the concept of electricity and circuits
- Energy stick (can be purchased online or various educational retail outlets)
- Wet paper towel
- Dowel rod
Have a group of people form a circle and hold hands. Explain how a circle compares to a circuit. Grab one end of an energy stick while the person next to you grabs the other one. What happens? Open the circuit by letting go of the hand of a person next to you; everyone else hangs on. Now what? Have two people in the circuit hold both ends of a dowel rod with everyone else holding hands. What happens now? Finally try two people holding ends of a wet paper towel as part of the circle. Make your circle bigger or smaller. Do any of these things make a difference?
When everyone holds hands, the energy stick flashes and buzzes because the circuit is complete and electricity flows through the people in the group. Should anyone break the circuit, the detector stops. When the dowel rod is added to the circuit, the stick stops. Wood is not a good conductor of electricity. With the wet paper towel, the circuit is complete because water will conduct electricity.