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Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D & T

Make a doorbell circuit

Learn how to make a doorbell circuit in this fun STEM activity for KS2

This fun STEM activity for kids will teach you all about electrical switches and will show you how to build your own doorbell circuit!

Activity: Make a doorbell circuit

In this activity pupils will assemble a doorbell circuit. This develops understanding of how switches are used and how electrical circuits function. This could be used as a KS2 engineering activity or as a design and make or general STEM project.

The presentation, which can be downloaded below, includes an image of the circuit and detailed instructions on preparing and joining the wires.

As an alternative switch for an extension activity, a ‘blister switch’ is an improvement on the metal foil switch. It comprises of two pieces of foil, each connected to the circuit, but separated by a piece of card in which a square or circle is cut. The foil needs to be taut over the cut-out hole. When the top piece of foil is pressed, this should make a connection; and when pressure is released, the foil should cease to make contact.

This activity will take approximately 70 – 90 minutes.

Tools/resources required

  • Projector/Whiteboard
  • Components:
    • 4 x AA batteries in holder
    • Buzzers (e.g. Miniature Electronic Buzzer 6v)
    • 3 lengths of wire, each 100-150 mm long (only a single length is required if a battery holder with attached wires is used; no wires will be needed if the buzzer also has attached wires)
    • 2 metal split pin fasteners per pupil
    • A7 card, 1 piece per pupil
    • Sticky tape or electrical insulation tape.

(Potential sources for the components include and

  • If needed: Wire cutters/strippers
  • Optional:
    • Hole punches (ideally single hole punches)
    • A7 card, 1 per pupil
    • Metal foil
    • A4 card and coloured pencils
  • Scissors
  • Pre-made model of the circuit, for demonstration

The engineering context

Circuits form the basis of all electrical equipment, ranging from lighting in home to televisions and computers.

An electrical circuit is a group of components that are connected together, typically using wires. The wires are usually copper metal, which is highly conductive, coated with insulating plastic, to prevent electric shocks. The circuit must be continuous (i.e. have no breaks) to allow electricity to flow through the components and back to its source, such as a battery. Switches operate as an input device that make a gap in the circuit to stop electricity flowing when they are open. A circuit will normally also have at least one output device, such as a buzzer to produce sound or a bulb to produce light.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this project students will be able to construct an electrical switch and they will also be able to understand that a complete circuit is required for electricity to flow.

Download the free Make a doorbell circuit 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.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.

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