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What are conductors and

insulators?

Warm Up

1. In the diagram above, the water in the pan is


changing from a liquid to a gas, or ____.
a. Melting
b. freezing

c. condensing
d. evaporating

2. What is matter?
a. The amount of matter something contains.
b. Everything in the universe that has mass and
takes up space
c. The amount of salt in water
d. The amount of space that matter takes up.

3. Study the picture above. When the


sun comes out, the snowman
melts, or changes from ____.
a. solid to liquid
b. liquid to solid
c. gas to liquid
d. solid to gas
4. Buoyancy is__________
a. The ability for an object to float
b. To form a solution with another
material
c. The amount of matter something
contains.
d. evaporation

What is a conductor?
A conductor is something which allows electricity
to flow through.
An example of a conductor is:

Scissors
Paper clip
Aluminum foil
Iron
Steel
Copper

What is a Insulator?
An insulator is what makes electricity from not
flowing
Examples of insulators are:

Cotton
Paper
Plastic
Glass
Rubber

These are pictures of


conductors and Insulators
Conductors

Insulators

Lets demonstrate.
Materials Needed:
1.2-volt lightbulb,
a matching lightbulb base,
a D-cell battery,
a banana
three pieces of copper wire with the
insulation stripped off the ends.

Procedure
Draw the following picture in your science
journal.

Let me demonstrate
Set up the equipment as shown and tape
the wires to the battery.

Does anything happen?


Does the banana allow electricity to flow through
the circuit and light the bulb?
Is it a conductor or an insulator? Why or why not?

Now its your turn


Use of a circuit tester: To test whether the
material is a good electrical conductor.

Example of a circuit tester

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!


Conductor or Insulator? That is the question!
Now take the bag of
materials and spread
them out in front of
you.
Draw the following table
in your journal.
As you test each item,
record whether it was
a conductor or and
insulator with a

Item

Spoon
Paper clip
pencil
Rubber
band
eraser
Foil
Nail
coin

Conductor

Insulator

Did the
bulb
light?

Step 1: Set up the circuit


tester as shown above.

Step 2: Place the object


between the open ends of the
wire.

If the bulb lights up, it


means the material allows
electric current to flow
through the closed circuit.
The brighter the bulb, the
better the conductor of
electricity is the material.

Now write your conclusion based


on your investigation
What objects were conductors of
electricity? Why?
What objects were insulators of electricity?
Did any of the conductors have common
characteristics?
What about the insulators?
How would knowing the difference
between conductors and insulators help
you in the real world?

Conclusions
Conductors allow electricity flow through them.
Conductors are materials that can carry
electricity - they conduct electricity. Metal
materials such as copper, iron, steel and
aluminum are all good conductors of electricity.
Insulators do not allow electricity to flow through
them. Materials such as wood, plastic, rubber
and glass do not carry electricity and are called
insulators they dont conduct electricity.