# Investigating Materials which Conduct Electricity

In this worksheet, students will answer questions about how to investigate materials which conduct electricity by fair testing.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Electricity

Curriculum subtopic:   Conductors and Insulators

Difficulty level:

### QUESTION 1 of 10

The materials around us have different properties....

Some are transparent, like glass:

Some are hard, like diamond:

....and some materials allow electricity to pass through them easily. We call these materials ELECTRICAL CONDUCTORS.

We can investigate which materials are electrical conductors using our knowledge and understanding of electrical circuits.

The materials which do not allow electricity to pass through are called ELECTRICAL INSULATORS.

Let's investigate how they work.

What do they need to build in order to carry out this investigation?

a mains circuit

a battery circuit

static electricity

We NEVER use a mains circuit (the ones we plug our appliances  - like TVs, computers, freezers - into) to carry out investigations because...

it's expensive

it's dangerous

it's safe

Adam and Jade make a list of the equipment they will need to build their circuits.

wires with crocodile clips,  buzzer.

wires with crocodile clips,  bulb holder,  bulb.

Help them choose the piece of equipment they are missing from the list below:

battery

switch

insulator

Adam says, "Our test must be ____ ."

What word is missing?

fun

simple

fair

Help Adam and Jade decide on the factors they must consider in their investigation.

Which THREE factors must they keep the same?

the colour of the wires

the length of the wires

the size of the battery

the shape of the battery holder

the size of the bulb/ buzzer

The students build a circuit. They leave a break in the circuit so that they can connect their test materials in to the circuit, for example:

 Plastic Spoon Metal Paper Clip

If the material conducts electricity, which TWO things will happen in Jade and Adam's circuits?

the bulb will light

the bulb will blow

the buzzer will sound

nothing will happen

Jade hears the buzzer if the material she connects to the circuit conducts electricity. Adam sees the bulb light.

When scientists use their senses, it is called...

observation

condensation

modelling

Which is the best way for them to present their results?

block graph

line graph

table

tally chart

steel paperclip

silver charm

gold earring

2p coin

door key

Jade writes a GENERAL STATEMENT about her findings. Which word is missing?

"The materials which conduct electricity are _______."

jewellery

paperclips

plastics

metals

useful

A material which does not allow electricity to pass through is called...

an insulator

plastic

a resistor

• Question 1

What do they need to build in order to carry out this investigation?

a battery circuit
EDDIE SAYS
Mains circuit? Are you crazy? Of course not! I think we all know that we don't do any experiments with mains electrcitiy as it's way too dangerous. It's a battery circuit they'll need, with a low current from which they can learn about materials that conduct and those that don't.
• Question 2

We NEVER use a mains circuit (the ones we plug our appliances  - like TVs, computers, freezers - into) to carry out investigations because...

it's dangerous
EDDIE SAYS
NEVER use a mains circuit for anything other than the electrical appliance designed to be plugged into the mains. I know it sounds harsh but, ELECTRICITY CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS!
• Question 3

Adam and Jade make a list of the equipment they will need to build their circuits.

wires with crocodile clips,  buzzer.

wires with crocodile clips,  bulb holder,  bulb.

Help them choose the piece of equipment they are missing from the list below:

battery
EDDIE SAYS
Their circuits need a source of electrical energy to make the buzzer sound or the bulb light. A battery is a safe source of electrical energy we can use to build a circuit.
• Question 4

Adam says, "Our test must be ____ ."

What word is missing?

fair
EDDIE SAYS
You're probably well familiar with fair tests by now: we only change ONE thing at a time, otherwise we won't know which of our changes caused a different result.
• Question 5

Help Adam and Jade decide on the factors they must consider in their investigation.

Which THREE factors must they keep the same?

the length of the wires
the size of the battery
the size of the bulb/ buzzer
EDDIE SAYS
The length of the wires and the sizes of battery and bulb will all have an effect upon the final result, so they need to be kept the same.
• Question 6

The students build a circuit. They leave a break in the circuit so that they can connect their test materials in to the circuit, for example:

 Plastic Spoon Metal Paper Clip

If the material conducts electricity, which TWO things will happen in Jade and Adam's circuits?

the bulb will light
the buzzer will sound
EDDIE SAYS
For the buzzer to sound and the bulb to light energy is needed. The electrical energy from the battery can only reach the bulb or buzzer if the circuit is complete and all the materials in the circuit are electrical conductors.
• Question 7

Jade hears the buzzer if the material she connects to the circuit conducts electricity. Adam sees the bulb light.

When scientists use their senses, it is called...

observation
EDDIE SAYS
Observation means using our senses to record the changes and differences which happen in investigations.
• Question 8

Which is the best way for them to present their results?

table
EDDIE SAYS
For this sort of data a table is a really clear of representing it so that anyone looking at it can see straight away what's going on. Basically it's going to be a list of materials with ticks under the appropriate column: "Conducted" or "Didn't Conduct".
• Question 9

steel paperclip

silver charm

gold earring

2p coin

door key

Jade writes a GENERAL STATEMENT about her findings. Which word is missing?

"The materials which conduct electricity are _______."

metals
EDDIE SAYS
Metals are good conductors of electricity, but they are not the only electrical conductors! A powerful source of electricity can travel through water.The hard grey materialin pencils - graphite, also conducts electricity!
• Question 10

A material which does not allow electricity to pass through is called...

an insulator
EDDIE SAYS
Remember insulating plastic around wires, or insulating tape that's used to wrap around wires? Basically, anything that doesn't conduct electricity is an insulator.
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