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Learning about Electricity & Magnetism

Did you know that most electricity in the world is generated by moving magnetic fields near conductive copper wires? Moving magnetic flux creates movement in the electrons within the copper wire, generating electrical current that people use everyday. This process is called magnetic induction electricity generation. 

Ready for some magnetic induction electricity exploration? Check out these fun resources and activities for continued learning:

Activity #1: Learn more about Benjamin Franklin’s Kite Experiment

Did you know Benjamin Franklin conducted a famous kite experiment to explore the nature of electricity? Find out more details of how Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment investigated the nature of electricity in this video:


Activity #2: Learn more about how magnetic fields generate electrical current

Most of the electricity generated today is created through the utilization of moving magnetic fields. This animated video illustrates the underlying physics of this type of electricity generation with magnetic fields. This video also explores a wide variety of power plant designs – including wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, coal and nuclear – which all employ the principles of magnetic induction electricity generation, but in different ways:


Activity #3: Build a Shake Light

A shake light is a common assignment for introductory electrical engineering courses at the college level. But learners of all ages can make one! It requires these supplies:

– A roll of magnet wire (magnet wire is copper wire covered with a thin layer of insulation, to avoid a short circuit)

– A cylindrical magnet

– LEDs

This video shows step-by-step instructions:


Activity #4: Build a bicycle-powered generator

If you have a spare bicycle and some time, you can build your own bicycle-powered generator! This video shows step-by-step instructions using a few repurposed car parts: 


Activity #5: Learn about new wind power designs

Did you know that the world is constantly looking for new and improved ways to generate electricity? A new startup called Flower Turbines has patented a unique design for wind-based electricity generators. These tulip-shaped turbines are less noisy, less dangerous to birds and more visually attractive than traditional blade-based wind turbines. Learn all about it in this video below:


Do you have ideas for new magnetic induction electricity generator designs? We encourage you to develop your designs, build a prototype and share it with the world! 


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