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Holiday Stick Candle Electricity STEM Activity

STEM Activities

Fun Facts

  • You can make a battery out of potatoes; it’s not strong enough to power an LED flashlight though.
  • Gold is used in electronics. It has low resistance, but is very expensive. Gold is used to coat the contact of the processor in computers to make them corrosion resistance and enhance processor performance
holiday stick candles stem activity led conductivity

There’s nothing better than a beautiful candle to bring holiday cheer and coziness to any home. Add this LED candle to a cozy corner in your home when the weather starts to change.

copper tape scotch tape scissors 3v coin battery popsicle stick led light

What You'll Need

  • Jumbo popsicle stick (cut in half)
  • Size 2 metal binder clip
  • 3V coin cell battery (CR 2032)
  • LED light
  • Copper tape
  • Scotch tape (optional)
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Set the LED on the curved end of the popsicle stick and lay on a flat surface. The “short” end (negative) of the LED should be facing up.
  2. Take a piece of Copper tape, around 3″ long, and press it firmly over the wire end of the LED. It should reach the end of the stick.
  3. Flip over and attach a shorter piece of tape to the “long” end (positive) of the LED.
  4. Lay the negative side of the battery on the side of the stick with the long copper tape and clamp on the binder clip.
  5. Flip over to the negative side and flip up the clip. Make sure it connects with the tape.
  6. To turn the light on, flip up the battery side. When the metal clip hits the battery, it will turn on.
short diode long diode LED copper tape

Key Concepts

  • conductor
  • LED
  • Battery

Questions you may ask

  1. What happens when you try flipping your battery to the other side?
  2. Try to connect the LED and battery with clear tape instead of copper tape, Does the LED turn on?

Scientific Facts

Fact #1

LED stands for light emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. How do they work? An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light. To prevent performance issues, the heat LEDs produce is absorbed into a heat sink.

Fact #2

A conductor conducts electricity since it offers little or no resistance to the flow of electrons, thus leading to a flow of electrical current. Typically, metals, metal alloys, electrolytes and even some nonmetals, like graphite and liquids, including water, are good electrical conductors. Pure elemental silver is one of the best electrical conductors. Other good electrical conductors include the following: copper, steel, gold, silver, platinum, aluminum and brass.

Human beings are also good conductors of electricity, which is why touching someone experiencing an electric shock causes the person who touched them to experience the shock.

Fact #3

A battery is a device that converts chemical energy contained within its active materials directly into electric energy by means of an electrochemical oxidation-reduction (redox) reaction. This type of reaction involves the transfer of electrons from one material to another via an electric circuit.

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