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

Simple switches

Making simple switches

An electrical circuit is a group of components that are connected together, typically using wires. The wires are typically 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 make a gap in the circuit to stop electricity flowing when they are open. There are a wide variety of different types of switches that can be used.

This could be used in at Key Stage 2 as an extension to an activity to introduce circuits, or to support a design and make project, such as the doorbell activity or adding a motor to the ‘cardboard cars’ activity.

Activity info, teachers' notes and curriculum links

In this activity, pupils assemble a variety of different switches from commonly available items. This develops understanding of how switches are used, electrical conduction and how electric circuits function.

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

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