Materials List: Will It Conduct?

Each group needs:

  • 4 wide rubber bands
  • 2 or 3 D-cell batteries
  • 1 #40 light bulb (available at most hardware stores)
  • 1 #40 light bulb holder (available at most hardware stores)
  • 2.5 ft (76 cm) insulated wire (gauge AWG 22) (available at most hardware stores)
  • 2 in (5 cm) wide strip of aluminum foil (the foil box width should be long enough)
  • 4 Will It Conduct? Worksheets
  • 4 Elemental Conductivity Math Worksheets (suitable for grades 4 and 5)

For the entire class to share:

  • An assortment of solid test objects: Nails or screws (of various metals), glass stirring rod, wooden dowel, cardboard, rubber eraser, rubber shoe sole, plastic utensil, old metal utensil, brass key, cork, copper wire, chalk, aluminum foil, graphite (from a mechanical pencil), plastic pen, feathers, Styrofoam, etc.
  • An assortment of test solutions including: Tap water, Saltwater (using distilled water), Sugar water (using distilled water), Baking soda and water (using distilled water), citric acid, vinegar, Gatorade or sports drink
  • An assortment of test solutions: Tap water with a few of the following items in three strengths: salt, sugar, baking soda, citric acid, vinegar, ammonia; or Pedialyte drink, Gatorade or sports drink
  • Glass beakers or plastic cups for each test solution
  • Masking tape
  • Distilled water
  • Tap water
  • Marking pen (for labeling the solutions)
  • Wire strippers or sandpaper (to remove insulation at wire ends)

Note: Many of the materials required for this lab can be reused in other electricity activities. When the batteries eventually wear out, dispose of them at a hazardous waste disposal site.