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Science spark

Published: 31 March 2020

Electricity is powering our everyday lives: laptops, TVs, phones, cookers, microwaves, hairdryers… the list could go on and on! As many of your pupils will find themselves spending more time at home, perhaps they could investigate the fascinating topic of electricity?

There are many interesting characters that feature in the historic story of electricity and lots of books and films that support the topic. The Boy who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, for example, is a really rich text for older primary children. This inspirational book gives a detailed insight into what it is like to live in a land affected by drought and hunger and how one young boy’s interest in electricity transformed a whole community. The film is available on Netflix.

Ogden electricity resources can be found on our resource pages

We have lots of research resources, ideas and active learning opportunities on our website that can help children understand how electricity has changed our lives.

Older children could use our electricity research cards to explore how scientific ideas about electricity have changed throughout history. They could then report and share their findings through posters, chronological reports or use mobile phones and tablets at home to make videos or podcasts. Perhaps they will be inspired by William Gilbert and try to make their own electroscope or maybe they will want to work like Michael Faraday and make their own coin battery? We have Phizzi practical resources available on our website to support both of these activities.

A close up of our research cards featuring Michael Faraday

It is great to offer parents and carers simple, practical suggestions to develop their child’s curiosity at home. Why not encourage children to work with their parents/carers to investigate how much electricity they use in a week by finding the electricity meter in their homes and keeping track of daily readings? They could then investigate changing their behaviour in some way by using less light or limiting the use of certain appliances to see how that affects the data.

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