Compare serial and parallel circuits in this fun activity.
Other Notes (supplies needed, tips on using the resource, or directions for accessing the resource at the above link, etc.)
Follow the directions in the "Student Activity" section under Procedure. Show your child the two sets of lights. Remove a bulb from each set and see what happens. Ask your child if he or she remembers which one is a serial circuit and which one is a parallel circuit.
Remind your child, if necessary, that the string of lights that would not work once a bulb was removed is a series circuit. Tell your child that the other string of lights represents a parallel circuit.
Print the data sheet and answer the questions after performing the demonstration.
You will need the following supplies:
- Printer supplies
- One string of older holiday lights (when one light goes out, they all do). These can be purchased at any dollar store as the holiday season approaches
- One string of newer holiday lights (when one light goes out, the rest stay lit)
- One 6-volt lantern battery or 4 "D" size batteries
- Two light bulb holders
- Two light bulbs (6.3 volts)
- One switch
- Four pieces of bell wire about 8 inches long each piece (ends stripped)
- Wire cutters/strippers