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❶This energy can be used to power electrical items such as toasters, kettles, cookers, televisions and computer tablets.

What is electricity?

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Electricity and conductors

Large electrical items need a higher electrical voltage and current than smaller items. Some objects conduct electricity; this means they allow electricity to flow through them easily. These are called conductors. Metal items such as spoons, paperclips, coins are good conductors. Other objects do not allow electricity to flow through them easily these are called insulators. Rubber, paper and some plastics are examples of insulators. Semiconductors like silicon conduct or block electricity at different times and are used in electronics.

Children may complete activities to sort items according to whether they run on electricity this might be using pictures or actual items. In the classroom, children will usually enjoy explore electricity by using batteries cells that make electricity , wires often with crocodile clips so they are easy to attach , bulbs, switches they turn circuits on and off, stopping the electrical current from flowing and buzzers to create simple series circuits.

They may investigate how to make the bulb brighter or buzzer louder by adding more batteries or if the bulbs dim when more bulbs are added. Electrical safety will be discussed as a class or in groups, children might watch video clips or create safety posters.

Access thousands of brilliant resources to help your child be the best they can be. Circuit, cell, bulb, switch Find out about the electrical terminology your primary-school child will be using in the classroom and try some hands-on activities to support learning about electricity at home. See how one village in Peru handles it, and compare it with another nearby village that has electricity. This house is using solar, wind and hydro power.

Learn how a solar power plant works. Access thousands of brilliant resources to help your child be the best they can be. What are electricity and power generation? Electricity can be generated using coal, gas, nuclear fuels, the wind or sunlight. Electricity is normally generated in big buildings called power stations. This is called energy efficiency.

Electricity first came into widespread use in the Victorian era , when people started to use it to light streets, shops and homes. When electricity travels through you, it is called an electric shock. It can be very painful and can even kill people. A bolt of lightning is electricity travelling from the clouds to the ground, or from cloud to cloud. Some methods of generating electricity, like burning gas and coal, create greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

People are trying to make more of our electricity in ways that are good for the environment , like using wind power or solar power. Wind power generates electricity by using the wind to turn the big arms on a wind turbine.

Solar power generates electricity by absorbing the heat and light from the sun in special panels. Electricity has led to a lot of changes in our lives. Before electricity, if you wanted to light your house at night, you had to use candles, or lamps filled with oil or paraffin. In , the first electric streetlights in the world were put in London.

In , Godalming in Surrey became the first town in the world to have an electricity supply that everybody in the town could use. Lots of trains are powered by electricity. They either get it from a wire that runs over the tracks, or from a third rail. One of the reasons electricity changed our lives so much is that it can make things much more convenient.

Before electric street lights, it was the job of some people to go around lighting the gas-powered lamps that towns used to have on their streets; they were called lamp lighters. Even though you can get small wind turbines to use at home, wind turbines have to be very big in order to make a lot of electricity.

Each blade on a big wind turbine could be as long as four double-decker buses! The best place to put a wind turbine is somewhere where there is a lot of wind to turn it.

The more wind there is, the more electricity you can make. The best places often high up on a hill or on top of a tall building, but it can also be good to build wind turbines out at sea.

Look through the gallery below and see if you can spot the following: An offshore wind farm off the coast of Kent This house uses solar power, and has solar panels on the roof A solar tower at a solar power plant in Spain A coal power station Sellafield nuclear power plant A cooling tower Pylons Clywedog dam in Wales Hoover dam in the United States A diagram showing how a battery works Low-energy light bulbs A standard light bulb.

Learn about energy and how we use it Help find out how to power different electrical items , and how to be safe with electricity suitable for KS1 Try to create enough power from a solar panel and a wind turbine before the clock stops! Learn more about electricity in the home. Read about environmentally friendly ways of making electricity. All about wind power All about solar power Electrical energy Storing and transferring energy Watch an animation about electricity Find out about lots of kinds of energy and power generation on the Our Future Energy website What would life be like without electricity?

Caring for the environment.

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