Forward-Reverse Switch

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In this activity, learners build a switch to turn electrical circuits on and off. Learners can connect their switches to other projects they want to power and swing the popsicle stick around to control the direction of movement of the connected devices. Use this activity to introduce learners to concepts related to electrical circuits, switches, and polarity. Note: this activity requires the use of a drill, which is not included in the cost of materials. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 5 brass fasteners
  • 1 popsicle stick
  • 1 battery
  • 2 1' electrical wires
  • 2 4" electrical wires
  • 1 1/8" nail
  • cardboard
  • tape, electrical and masking
  • drill
  • a project to connect and power


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Motors
      • Electric Circuits
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Electronics


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Fresno Community Science Workshop


  • All rights reserved, Fresno Community Science Workshop, 2012