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Insulators and Conductors

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Insulators and Conductors

In this activity, learners explore the concept of conducting or insulating electricity. Learners test different everyday materials to determine if the materials are conductors or insulators of electricity. Learners work in teams to test their predictions about each material and then compare results and discuss findings.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • 3 pieces of wire (strip the ends)
  • Battery (size D)
  • 1.5 volt bulb and socket
  • Paper fasteners
  • Variety of materials that are either conductors or insulators, at least 40 (metal paper clips, paper, erasers, aluminum foil, metal pens, rubber bands, pencils, coins, hair clips, keys, etc.)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Circuits
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elements and Periodic Table
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Electronics


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, IEEE,


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