Conductors and Insulators
Return to Physics Index
Leona Williams Cregier Vocational High School
2040 W. Adams St.
Chicago, Illinois 60612
1. To provide an understanding of basic electrical terms.
2. To compare the electric current flow in conductors and insulators.
3. To teach the operations of a series circuit by designing a quiz board.
(For each group of four)
wood 12 volt automotive bulbs
glass electrical wire
paper clips piezo buzzers
1.5 volt dry cell battery holders
aluminum foil coins
Prepare four series circuit units for testing materials. Each unit will consist
of a light or buzzer connected to a battery and placed on a wooden board for
All materials will be separated into five stations on laboratory desks.
Students will be divided into groups.
Students will test 10 different objects to determine if they are conductors or
insulators. All data should be recorded.
Construction of quiz board.
Remove the insulation from 4 pieces of electrical wire for about 1 inch on both
ends. Wrap several turns of one end around a paper clip. Wrap the other end
around a second paper clip. Repeat process until you have four wires with paper
clips at each end. Place a 1.5 volt battery into holder. Connect piezo buzzer
to the battery. Prepare questions and answers for quiz board. The correct
pairs have to correspond to your wiring. Arrange the wiring on the quiz board
to conform to it. Whenever a question is answered correctly, by placing the
wire from the buzzer to paper clip next to the question and a second wire from
buzzer to the paper clip next to the answer, the circuit will be completed and
the buzzer will sound. Students will return to seats. A question and answer
period will follow.
After we connect a wire between the terminals of an electric cell, we find that
there is an electric current in the wire. A wire that will carry or conduct an
electric current is called a conductor. In order to have a current, there must
be a complete circuit of conductors, a path that the electrons can follow back
to their starting point. Insulators are materials that cannot easily conduct an