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Knee Power

Topic: 4F Circuits and conductors

A device has been created which allows people to generate electricity simply by taking a stroll to the shops to buy a newspaper. The invention generates enough electricity from the motion of the legs to power the walker's mobile phone and MP3 player while they're out and about.
Researchers who developed the mechanism, an adapted knee brace, said it has the potential to be used in prosthetic limbs and pacemakers, or by anyone without easy access to electricity.

In this activity children design a circuit for a flashing light powered by the knee brace. They consider what the advantages and the problems might be.

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Try the Activity Learning Objective

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Knee Power activity

Click to Download Knee Power teacher notes
Knee Power teacher notes

   

· why devices in some circuits shown in drawings will work but devices in other circuits will not

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 2 successfully.

· that in a circuit a switch turns a specific device on or off

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully.

· how switches works

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully.

· explain that metals are used because they are good conductors and plastics because they are insulators

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully.

· suggest a way of changing the brightness of a bulb and predict what will happen
Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 4 successfully.

   
Web Links

Times Online
The news story behind the activity

BBC Science Clips
An interactive circuit in which children aged 8-9 can change the ratio of bulbs to batteries and can try out different materials to see which conduct.

BBC KS2 Bitesize
An animated KS2 Bitesize activity for the Science topic.

Blobz
An interactive site which includes activities and a quiz. Highly recommended.

 
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