Materials List: Light Your Way:
Design-Build a Series Circuit Flashlight

Each group needs:

  • 2 D-cell batteries (If each student brings in 2 D-cell batteries, then they can take their homemade flashlights home with them. If you do this, make sure to have enough of the other supplies to make one flashlight per student, not per group.)
  • 5 pieces of insulated copper wire (various lengths) (available at hardware stores)
  • 1 #40 bulb (available at hardware stores)
  • 1 bulb holder (available at hardware stores)
  • 1 cardboard paper towel or wrapping paper tube
  • Light Your Way Worksheets, one per student

For the entire class to share:

  • reflective material, such as aluminum foil, small pie tins, foil muffin cups, etc.
  • thumb tacks
  • rubber bands
  • masking tape
  • wire strippers or medium-grade sandpaper (to remove insulation from wire ends)
  • wire cutters
  • scissors

Optional materials for this design project:

  • thin flat strips of wood or plastic
  • switch (available at electronics stores), or a variety of materials to make switches: paper clips, aluminum foil, nails, coins, insulated wire (possibly of varying gauges), keys, etc.
  • thumb tacks

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.