Will it conduct?

Will it conduct?
Publication Date: January, 2004
Type of Resource: Practical activity/investigation

This online resource provides a lesson plan for a hands-on activity where students build a conductivity tester to explore the difference between electrical conductors and insulators.

The resource provides details on how to build the conductivity tester from a battery, light bulb and wires. It also lists a number of solid and liquid substances that can be tested to determine if they are conductors or insulators. Worksheets are available on the site for students to record their results and answer questions.

Plenty of background information is provided for teachers to make this a very thorough lesson. Answers to questions posed to students are given throughout the lesson plan in brackets. Ideas for assessment and extension are also included. 

Additional Information

The site is American and gives ‘pennies’ as a good example for copper. Old Australian 1 or 2 cent coins could be substituted or even old Aussie ‘pennies’, if you have them.

The vocabulary is very sophisticated for Year 6 students and includes terms like: electrons, electric current, charge, ions, electrolyte etc. Use of these terms is optional of course. 

Australian Curriculum:
  • Year 6 > Science Inquiry Skills > Processing and analysing data and information > Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations > ACSIS221
  • Year 6 > Science Inquiry Skills > Processing and analysing data and information > Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to... > ACSIS107
  • Year 6 > Science Understanding > Physical Sciences > Electrical energy can be transferred and transformed in electrical circuits and... > ACSSU097
  • Year 6 > Science as a Human Endeavour > Nature and development of science > Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to... > ACSHE098
  • Year 6 > Science as a Human Endeavour > Use and influence of science > Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and... > ACSHE220