In the Build a Simple AC Generator for physical science and physics, demonstrate the fundamental principles of generators by converting the spinning mechanical energy into electrical energy that will light an LED.
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Create power! Demonstrate the fundamental principles of generators by converting the spinning mechanical energy into electrical energy that will light an LED. In this simple, easy-to-make device, two powerful neodymium magnets spinning in a coil of wire induce a current, in accord with Faraday’s Law. You can also use the device to show students the difference between direct and alternating current. They will surely be impressed! Includes complete instructions and a reproducible student worksheet.
Concepts: Electric generators, electromagnetism, alternating current, Faraday's law.
Time Required: 15 minutes
Materials Provided: Cardboard tube, iron nail, red LED, magnet wire, neodymium magnets, sandpaper.
Note: Also available as a Classroom Set with enough materials for eight student groups.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science & Engineering Practices
Asking questions and defining problems
Developing and using models
Analyzing and interpreting data
Engaging in argument from evidence
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
MS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS3.C: Relationship between Energy and Forces
Cause and effect
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
MS-PS1-4: Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
HS-PS3-2: Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).