Science Experiment for Kids: The Mystery of the Lighting Bulb

Another simple science experiment from our Science With Africa! series for all you naturally inquisitive scientific kids out there!

At Science With Me! we encourage children to investigate and solve problems just like scientists do. To assist with the spreading of scientific thinking around the globe we have sponsored an expat in a rural community in Africa to get African kids doing Science With Me! Enjoy this experiment! And be sure and leave Katy a comment below! If you are new to our site be sure and browse through our Science With Me! archives, sign up for our free activities, or just come back in a few days for a new post. Enjoy! elva Snowball, Katy’s new kitten, is hiding under the car again. 6_comic Katy puts Snowball in the house and then follows her father out to the garden. She wants to find out how this magic light works.

Do you want to find out too?

Here’s what you need:

  1. A cell
  2. 2 wires
  3. A torch bulb

6_things_need-225x300 6_comic2 6_comic3

Katy is trying to solve this mystery. Can you figure it out before her?

6_makecircuit Katy is trying to make a circuit to light the bulb. 6_bulb 6_comic4 Katy got her bulb to light! 6_comic5 Oops! Snowball’s crying in the house, Katy has to go! bye_katy-225x300 Parent’s Corner Electricity is a flow of electrically charged particles or electrons. For the electrons to flow they need a path to follow. The path in this simple circuit is the wires and the bulb. The electrons are negatively charged so they want to run away from the negative terminal of the cell and are attracted to the positive terminal of the cell. When the circuit is set up correctly, the electrons will be pushed from the negative terminal, pass through one end of the bulb, through the thin wire in the bulb called a filament (which glows as the electrons pass through), out the other side of the bulb, through the wire and then back to the positive terminal of the cell. The correct circuit looks like this: 6_circuit_diagram Kids love electricity! This simple circuit is an exciting introduction to the topic. Allow your child to try many ways of touching the wires to the bulb and the cell until they solve the puzzle themselves. It will help them develop their problem solving skills and will be empowering, letting them know that they can do anything if they just set their active minds to it!