• Field Trip

    More than 250 interactive science, technology, energy and health exhibits await students of all ages.  We’re experts at making sure that bringing your group to the Museum is smooth sailing all the way. Discounted admission for groups of 20 or more!

  • ScienceWorks

    Your students become scientists during our ScienceWorks Labs. All programs align with National Science Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and Common Core State Standards. Labs are available year-round for preschool to middle school students.

  • Outreach

    It's Science on Wheels: We bring the Museum to you!  We offer fun, inquiry-based programs for the students in your classroom, library, festival or youth center! All programs address objectives outlined in the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and include pre- and post-visit activities.

  • Distance Learning

    Our educators use videoconferencing to engage your students in a dynamic, hands-on learning experience. Program kits sent to classroom teachers include nearly everything you need for experiments. Kits are yours to keep! All programs address National Science Education Standards and align with Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations.

  • Professional Development

    Join us for fast-paced, hands-on teacher workshops that provide elementary and middle school educators with new hands-on tools for incorporating interactive science and math activities into your classroom.  Join us for professional development opportunities both at the museum and at your school.

  • Scout Camp-Ins

    Stay overnight with us as we dive deep into science experiments! These events are designed especially for our Scout audience. 

  • Summer Camp

    Explore week-long science and math activities in conjuntion with Ann Arbor Rec&Ed.  Elementary and middle school children can investigate a different theme each week through hands-on and engaging fun.

  • Birthday Parties

    What do you get when you mix one part science, one part fun, and one part celebration? A birthday party at the Museum! Experience a birthday full of discovery by exploring more than 250 exhibits and experimenting with a hands-on activity. Celebrate in a unique and interactive environment to make your special day really special!

  • Museum Rental

    Discover a unique, dynamic opportunity that will delight guests at your next function. The Museum is available after hours for receptions, award dinners, corporate meetings, client appreciation, bar and bat mitzvah, birthdays, holiday parties and more for up to 300 people. The Museum’s exhibit areas are open for guests to explore. 

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WORKSHOP Circuits

Outreach Workshop: Circuits

Introduces information on the principles of electricity and circuits. Test these principles by using interlocking components to build your own circuits.

Price

$310 - Includes two 50-minute workshops.  Additional workshops $125 each.

Register for an Outreach Workshop today!

Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, Science v.1.09

  • Demonstrate how electrical energy is transferred and changed through the use of a simple circuit. (P.EN.04.51)
  • Identify electricity and heat as forms of energy. (P.EN.04.12)
  • Identify objects that are good conductors or poor conductors of heat and electricity. (P.PM.04.53)

Circuits Pre-visit Vocabulary

Capacitor: Device used to store electrical energy.

Circuit: Path that electricity flows along.

Conductor: Material that allows electric current to flow through it easily.

Current: Flow of electrically charged particles through a circuit.

Diode: Device that conducts electricity in one direction only.

Electricity: Form of energy created by the flow of electrons.

Electron: Tiny particle that carries a negative charge.

Load: Part of an electric circuit that uses the electric power.

Parallel Circuit: Circuit that contains at least two paths for electrical current.

Proton: Tiny particle that carries a positive charge.

Resistor: Any substance that cuts down on the flow of electricity through a circuit.

Series Circuit: Circuit that has only one path for the electrical current.

Switch: Device that controls the flow of electric current in a circuit.

Voltage: Electrical push or pressure that causes electrical charge to flow through a circuit.

Circuits Post-visit Activity

Post-visit activities provide your students with an opportunity to review workshop-presented concepts and introduce related subjects. Below you will find a classroom extension activity and a list of suggested resources for further exploration. We hope that you enjoyed our Outreach Hands-On Workshop and we look forward to visiting your students again!

Hands-on Activity: Conductor Detector

A conductor is a material that allows electricity to flow through it. An insulator is something that does not allow electricity to flow through it. The material that links one part of a circuit to another (such as a light bulb to a battery) must be a conductor in order to complete the circuit and make it work. What kinds of materials are conductors? What kinds of materials are insulators?

Materials

The following materials are readily available at hardware, electronic and hobby stores. Amounts listed are for individual students. Multiply as necessary for small groups or an entire class.

  • 1.5V battery
  • Bulb and bulb holder (always use a bulb that is the same number of volts, or more volts, than your battery)
  • Plastic coated wire (single core)
  • Wire cutters (wire strippers are even better)
  • Small screwdriver
  • Tape (electrical tape is great, but Scotch tape works too)
  • Assorted conductors & non-conductors (paperclips, rubber bands, marbles, aluminum foil, paper, string, etc.)

Procedure

  1. Cut 3 pieces of wire into the following lengths: 2 pieces that are 5 inches long, 1 piece that is 3 inches long.
  2. Strip the last ½ inch of plastic off the end of each wire so that only the inner metal wire is left. To do this, use the wire strippers or clamp the wire cutters down gently ½ inch from the end, just until they start to cut into the plastic. Pull the wire cutters one direction and the rest of the wire the other way so that ½ inch of plastic coating slides off.
  3. Loosen the screws on the bulb holder. Wrap one end of a 5 inch wire around one screw and one end of the 3 inch wire around the another screw. Tighten the screws back down. Screw the bulb into the holder.
  4. Securely tape the other end of the 5 inch wire that’s attached to your light bulb tightly to one end of your battery. Make sure it touches the terminal of the battery (the bump on the (+) end or the depression on the (-) end).
  5. Tape one end of the other 5 inch wire to the other terminal of the battery. If you stretched your circuit out in a straight line, it should be in the following order: 3 inch wire, bulb and bulb holder, 5 inch wire, battery, 5 inch wire.
  6. Touch the 2 free ends of your circuit together. If all of your connections are tight, the bulb should light.
  7. To test for conductors, touch the material to be tested — such as a paperclip — with the free ends of your circuit. If the material conducts electricity, the bulb will light.

Suggested Resources

Books

Baker, Wendy and Andrew Haslam. Make it Work! Electricity. Two-Can Publishing Ltd. 1992.
Glover, David. Batteries, Bulbs and Wires. Kingfisher Books, New York. 1993.
Hixson, B.K. Edison, Etc. The Wild Goose Co., Salt Lake City, UT. 1994.
Science Made Simple Grades 1–6. Frank Schaffer Productions, CA. 1997.
Tolman, Marvin N. Hands-On Physical Science Activities for Grades 2–8. Parker Publishing Company, Inc., NY. 1995.
Wood, Robert W. Electricity and Magnetism FUNdamentals: Funtastic Science Activities for Kids. Learning Triangle Press, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 1997.

Internet

Reeko’s Mad Scientist Lab
Hands-on Technology Program
Electricity and Magnetism
The Franklin Institute: Our Electric Future
Community Learning Network

WORKSHOP Circuits

Outreach

Library, School

50 minutes

3-5th

30

Physical Sciences