Turn on the Light

Science Encyclopedia for Kids

Power Plant to Bulb - It's All About Energy!, Energy

You flip a switch, and a lightbulb glows. Your computer lights up when you turn it on. Do you know why? What keeps refrigerators cool? What heats water? The answer is electricity. This book tells the story of electricity's amazing journey from a huge power plant to the lights in your house. Electricity is an invisible form of energy. At the flick of a switch, you can stop or start the flow…

2 minute read

All About Electricity - All About Everything, All About Atoms, Current Electricity, Bump!, + and −, Static Electricity, Opposites Attract

So electricity makes the light glow when you flip on the switch. To understand why, we need to look at the tiniest bits of matter that make up our world. Everything around us is made of matter. Matter is made up of tiny atoms. Imagine you tear a piece of aluminum foil in half. It still looks like foil. Now imagine you tear it up into thousands of pieces that can only be seen through a microscope.…

6 minute read

Making Electricity - Steam to Electricity, Sending Elecricity, The Grid, Voltage, From Substation to House, Safe to Use

Electricity is made by turning other forms of energy into electrical energy. This is what power plants do. There, fuels such as coal and oil are burned. This powers machines called generators. These machines produce electricity. Nuclear power plants produce large amounts of energy. They use only small amounts of fuel. Many power plants use coal. Burning the coal heats water and turns it in…

3 minute read

All in a Circuit - What Makes a Circuit?, Battery Power, How a Battery Works, Flat!, Home Circuits, Conductors and Insulators

Flip a switch. You can start or stop the flow of electricity. The electricity used in homes flows along a wire in a circuit. A circuit is like a circle. The switch you press, turn, or flip, opens or closes the circuit. If there is a gap in the circuit, electrons cannot jump from atom to atom. There is no power. When there is no gap, the electrons can jump. Then the electricity flows to the object…

4 minute read

Electricity at Work - Keep in Touch, Moving Pictures!, Chat, Electronics, On the Move, Under the Hood

Without electricity, our only source of light would be sunlight or candle flames. We would not have hot water or central heating. Electrical energy is useful when turned into heat or light energy. Look at a lightbulb that is not lit. Inside some you may be able to see a very thin wire. This is called a filament. Electrons have to push hard to get through this thin wire. The heat this creates give…

3 minute read

Electricity and Your World - Saving Energy, A Clean Energy?, Future

World temperatures are rising. Glaciers are melting. More extreme weather conditions such as floods and hurricanes are affecting Earth. This is all because of global warming. Pollution is one cause of this. Electricity does not create pollution. But some fuels used to produce it do. Extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, seem to be happening more regularly in recent yea…

3 minute read


atom (AT uhm) — the smallest pieces of matter chemical reaction (KEM uh kuhl ree AK shuhn) — when atoms move around and rearrange themselves to make new molecules, or substances circuit (SUR kit) — a loop along which electricity flows when there are no gaps conductor (kuhn DUHK tur) — a material through which electricity can flow electrical current (i LEK tri kuhl KUR …

2 minute read

Further Information - Books, Websites to visit

Electricity. Steve Parker and Laura Buller. DK Publishing, 2005. Electricity and Magnetism. Gerard Cheshire. Smart Apple Media, 2006. Electricity and the Lightbulb. James Lincoln Collier. Benchmark Books, 2005. Shocking World of Electricity with Max Axiom, Super Scientist. Liam O’ Donnell. Capstone Press, 2005. www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/electricity.html Energy Information Ad…

less than 1 minute read

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