Interactive learning guide

 To run most of the interactive activities, you will need to ensure your computer has Java installed on it. You can download it for free here.



This is a very simple activity but there is lots to be observed. Take the balloon and rub it against the jumper. You will see that charges are easily transferred as the different insulators rub against each other. Move the balloon over to the wall and observe what happens. Try placing the balloon just off the wall. What happens? Can you explain the behaviour of the balloon using your understanding of how charged objects behave?



Battery voltage

This learning object allows you to decide what happens in a battery. The stick figures can do work to move charges around, just like chemical energy can inside a real battery. Adjust the voltage and see the result. Check the 'Show battery' to see which end is which. Remember the end of the battery with the small lump is the positive terminal while the flat end is the negative terminal.


Battery resistor circuit

This learning object allows you to explore what effect changing the resistance and the supply voltage has on an electric circuit. Change the values of the different variables and explore what is happening to the circuit and how quickly the charges are able to move. Note the way the conductor changes temperature and the affect this has on the charges moving in the circuit.



This learning object allows you to explore the difference between a conductor, insulator, and semiconductor. Shown is the idea that there is energy needed to cause the charges to flow within a material when they exist it different positions relative to the nucleus. These are termed the valence band and the conduction band. Explore what is required to mobilise the electrons so they flow as a current.


Circuit construction kit - Part 1

In using this object for the first time, you are going to use the items in the 'Grab bag' to see whether they conduct electricity. Test the objects one at a time. Set up a simple circuit with a battery, light globe, a switch and a place to attach each of the test objects from the grab bag. Close the switch each time to see whether the item from the grab bag conducts. If the object is a good conductor the light globe should light up.


Resistance in a wire

With this interactive you can explore the factors that determine the resistance of a particular piece of wire. Explore the resistivity, a property of a material related to the composition of the wire, and note the effect of changing the diameter or length of the wire.


Energy supply to homes

This describes the stages in the delivery of electrical energy from the powerstation to users at home. You do have to read some notes, but the material describes the role of the various components, e.g. the transformer, in creating an efficient but safe system to supply electricity to consumers.


Circuit construction kit - Part 2

In this exercise you have the freedom to construct circuits using the equipment provided in the kit. You might like to try and construct the circuits that appear in the experiment and use the meters provided in the Learning Object to collect the data and compare this with the results you collected during the experiment.


Ohm Zone

This is an excellent learning object that provides you with many opportunities to conduct a range of experiments, from the very simple to the complex. Use the notes provided to guide you as you experiment. Note that the HAND has a range of experiments that you can choose from. Playing with this object is an excellent way for the talented student to explore this topic.
You will need Adobe Shockwave Player on your computer to access this interactive activity. It can be downloaded for free here.


The Generator

There are actually FIVE different objects contained within this Learning object, i.e. Bar magnet, pick-up coil, electromagnet, transformer, and generator. Use the tab at the top of the page to move from one to the other. The idea here is to explore the transformer and generator. With the generator, turn on the tap to begin inputting energy to the generator. Note what happens as the flow of water increases. Note that you can adjust some of the variables, number of coils etc.


Magnet and compass

Magnet and Compass

An interactive learning object that requires the installation of Java to run. The interactive allows you to explore the magnetic field around a bar magnet. While exploring make note of the direction of the magnetic field as you drag the compass to different positions.

Motor interactive learning screenshot


An interactive learning object that requires the installation of Java to run. The interactive allows you to explore how a DC electric motor works. Using this app, explore the operation of the electric motor by changing the direction of the electric current and the direction of the magnetic field.



Electrical cord