The Energy Ball is a fun, easy, and safe way to introduce kids to electric energy.
On the outside of the Energy Ball are two metal strips. If you touch these strips with your fingers, the ball will flash a red light and buzz. This happens because something inside the ball produces an electric current that can flow in a closed circuit.
electric current: A flow of electrons (negative charges)
circuit: A path made of electrical conducting material through which electrons flow.
closed circuit: A circuit that starts and ends at the power source with no breaks in the path.
open circuit: A circuit with one or more breaks in its path.
When you touch the two metal strips, your hand becomes part of an electric circuit.
Yes, without even the slightest electric tingle, your body bridges the gap between the two metal strips, thus closing the circuit so there can be a flow of electric energy.
YES!! The energy ball is safe. There is so little current produced that even dry skin can block the flow of electrons.
The Energy Ball is available at Educational Innovations.
What’s happening? What’s inside the ball?
Challenge kids to make a simple sketch of the contents of the ball.
Regardless of the content of your science curriculum, this Energy Ball Challenge is a great way to promote Hands-On-Science.
Using the Educational Innovation Energy Ball, discover how many people can be used to form the connecting bridge that closes the circuit. Do this by having kids hold hand. Start with a few kids, maybe three or four. Add to the human chain. Point out that the human body is a conductor of electricity. The human body also adds resistance to the flow of electric energy.
My skin is very dry, and even a thin piece of dead skin can block the flow of energy. It is a good idea to have kids moisten their hands with hand lotion before forming the Human Circuit. Check Modeling Closed and Open Circuits more information about electric circuits.
Information and activities about electric energy and other forms of energy are found in the book Energy for Every Kid