2 What is an electric current? A flow of electrical charges
3 Important Fact Electric current will only flow through a complete circuit.
4 Making a CircuitYou need a path to carry the electricity. This path along which an electric current flows is a circuit.3 basic parts of a circuitpower source (ex. battery)load (a lamp or a bulb, etc.)connectors (ex. wires) They carry the electric charges between the power source and the load.
5 Making a Circuit Many circuits have a switch. Closed Vs. Open Circuits It turns the electric current on and off.Ex. the lights in a room turn on with a switchClosed Vs. Open CircuitsThe circuit cannot have any breaks or the electric current can not flow.A closed circuit is complete and unbroken.An open circuit has breaks or openings.
6 Did you Know?When a bulb burns out, a wire inside of it breaks in two. This causes the circuit to no longer have a complete path. It is now an open circuit and electric current cannot flow through it.
7 Let’s try it!Materials: power source (battery), connectors (three wires), load (bulb), and switchInvestigation: Create a closed circuit that will allow the electric current to flow.
8 Can you turn this complete, closed circuit into an open circuit? Open the switch!
9 What is a series circuit? All electrical charges flow in the same directionThe parts are connected in one loopElectric current moves along one pathcurrent goes from power source to load then to another load and finally returns to power source [through wires]All of the parts are connected one after another
10 Let’s try it! Build a series circuit... Materials: power source (battery), battery holder, connectors (three wires), 2 loads (bulb), and bulb holdersInvestigation: Create a series circuit.
12 Let’s try it! Build a series circuit... Unscrew one of the light bulbs.Does the light bulb still light up? Why or why not?
13 Questions to Ponder...One bulb burns out in a series circuit. Will current flow in the circuit?A string of small lights are an example of a series circuit. If the first light goes out, what happens to the others? What if the last light burns out?
14 What is a parallel circuit? All electrical charges flow through more than one path. These different paths are referred to as branches.Some of the electric current flows through one branch and some flows through another branch
15 Let’s try it! Build a parallel circuit... Materials: power source (battery), battery holder, connectors (4 wires), 2 loads (bulb), and 2 bulb holdersInvestigation: Create a parallel circuit.
17 Let’s try it! Build a parallel circuit... Unscrew one of the light bulbs.Does the light bulb still light up? Why or why not?
18 With a parallel circuit... If any branch of the parallel circuit breaks or is removed, current will still flow through the other branches.If the light bulb on one branch burns out, the light bulbs on other branches will still glow.
19 Did you know?You can have a combination of a series and parallel circuit. Many circuits in electrical devices, even circuits in your home, are combination circuits!
20 What affects electric current? Voltagestrength of a power sourcea power source with more voltage can produce more electric currentmeasure in units called volts
21 What affects electric current? Resistanceability of a substance to oppose or slow down electric currentincreasing the resistance of a circuit decreases the flow of electric chargesalso allows electrical energy to be changed into other forms of energy [Ex. light or heat]Very little resistance…copper wires-can carry a great deal of electric current *CONDUCTORLarge amount of resistance…rubber-it is difficult to make electric current flow through it *INSULATOR
22 Questions to Ponder...If you add bulbs to a series circuit, the circuit has higher resistance. What happens to the electric current in the circuit?If you decrease the resistance of a circuit, what will happen to current in the circuit?
23 What is a short circuit? A path with almost no resistance It can stop the rest of the circuit from operating properly.Can be dangerous!The wire heats up and may cause a fire.
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