Materials List: Materials Switcheroo:
Construct Simple Electrical Switches

Each group needs:

  • Switcheroo Worksheet, one per student
  • 1 D-cell battery
  • 1 large rubber band
  • 1 #40 miniature bulb, such as a flashlight bulb (available at most electronics stores)
  • 1 miniature light bulb holder
  • 2 small nails (or metal thumbtacks, but not push pins)
  • a small piece of wood (or a small piece of thick cardboard)
  • 2 ft (30.5 cm) insulated wire (gauge AWG 22, available at hardware stores), cut into three pieces of equal length (8 in)

For the entire class to use:

  • an assortment of conducting/insulating objects: paper clips, aluminum foil, nails, coins, various gauges of insulated wire, keys, rubber bands, erasers, plastic rulers, cloth, pipe cleaners, etc.
  • wire strippers or sandpaper (to remove insulation at wire ends)
  • masking tape
  • hammer

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