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Age Range: 5-7
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • D & T
  • Science

Light up Rudolph's nose

Can you make Rudolph's nose light up with a simple electrical circuit?

Rudolph is very sad. His nose is not lighting up, and Santa and the rest of the reindeer can’t find their way to all the houses. Can you help him?

In this Christmas STEM activity for kids, students will experiment with a simple series electrical circuit in an attempt to light up Rudolph’s nose. This fun experiment will encourage students to have fun with science.

What equipment will you need?

Rudolph template, Stiff piece of card the same size as the template, Block of wood, 2 crocodile leads, 1.5V or D size battery, A 2.5 bulb with holder, Sticky tape, Blu-tac

How to do it

  • Step 1
    Please print off the Rudolph template and stick it onto a stiff piece of card.
  • Step 2
    Make a hole (large enough to put the bulb through) where the nose would be, keeping the bulb holder at the back. Tape the bulb holder to the cardboard to hold it in place. You can paint the bulb red with a felt tip pen or add some red acetate. Sweet wrappers work well for this!
  • Step 3
    Stick the block of wood to the bottom of the card so that the Rudolph template stands up.
  • Step 4
    Attach the crocodile leads to the metal part on each side of the bulb holder. Stick the battery down on top of the piece of wood at the back with a piece of Blu-tac. You are now ready.

The science behind the experiment

Electricity will only flow when there is a power source within a complete circuit of conductive material with no breaks.

There is no need, at this stage, to explain what electricity is or how it works, but children can begin thinking about what electricity does.

Encourage the children to look around the room to find other things which work on electricity.

They could cut out pictures from magazines of things which work on electricity and then sort them into those which work on mains electricity and those which work on battery power.

Download the free Light up Rudolph's nose activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Oh ho ho, and please do share your experiment highlights with us @IETeducation! #SantaLovesSTEM.

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