You currently have JavaScript disabled on this browser/device. JavaScript must be enabled in order for this website to function properly.

ZingPath: Circuits

Building Circuits

Searching for

Circuits

Learn in a way your textbook can't show you.
Explore the full path to learning Circuits

Lesson Focus

Building Circuits

Physical Science

Learning Made Easy

Students learn that simple circuits, with two light bulbs that are lit up, are built by using wires, batteries, switches, and light bulbs.

Over 1,200 Lessons: Get a Free Trial | Enroll Today

Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • After completing this Activity Object, students will be able to:
  • Draw a diagram or construct a working circuit with two lit light bulbs and a battery.
  • Predict that if one light bulb is removed from a circuit with two illuminating bulbs, the other will not remain lit.
  • Explain short circuit.
  • Define a closed circuit.

Everything You'll Have Covered

A simple circuit consists of a battery, a switch, and a load, such as a resistor, light bulb or bell. When the switch is closed, electric current flows and affects the load. For example, a bulb will illuminate or a bell will ring. A battery is a form of stored chemical energy. When a closed circuit is created, the chemical energy from the battery creates an electrical current. A circuit is closed when there is a complete pathway for the current to follow. If electric current passes through a load, the energy can be converted into heat, light, sound, or mechanical energy.

A short circuit is caused when a pathway is created that allows current to flow through a circuit with very low electrical resistance. If the resistance of the wire is very small and the applied voltage is great enough, an abnormally high current will flow in the wire. Due to the high current, a large amount of power will be dissipated by the wire and battery, which will cause their temperature to increase and they may burn out.

A short circuit is caused when a pathway is created that allows current to flow through a circuit with very low electrical resistance. If the resistance of the wire is very small and the applied voltage is great enough, an abnormally high current will flow in the wire. Due to the high current, a large amount of power will be dissipated by the wire and battery, which will cause their temperature to increase and they may burn out.

Electric current is the flow of charge carriers, usually electrons, through a conductor such as a wire. Current can be measured using an ammeter and is measured in amperes (often shortened to amps). An ampere is the measure of the amount of charge passing a point during a unit of time.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with circuit components, closed circuits, and switches.
Course Physical Science
Type of Tutorial Concept Development
Key Vocabulary battery, bulb, circuit