• Conductors like copper are used in making an electrical circuit.
  • An Electrical Circuit is any path along which electrons flow.
  • A conductor in a circuit is wrapped with a material called an Insulator.
  • An insulator prevents the electrons, or electric current, from flowing through it.
  • Insulators help protect us from coming into contact with electricity flowing through conductors.

An electric circuit is like a pathway, or highway, made of wires that electrons can flow through. A battery or other power source gives the force (called voltage) that makes the electrons move. When the electrons get to a device like a light bulb, your computer, or a refrigerator, they give it the power to make it work.

The word "circuit" sounds like "circle," and a circuit needs to be circular to work. The wires have to go from the power source to the device and back again, so that the electrons can go out and come back.

Many circuits have a switch so that they can be turned on and off. When the switch is off, it makes a gap in the circuit and the electrons are not able to flow around. When the switch is turned on, it closes the gap and the electricity is able to move and make the device work.

A picture diagram and a symbol diagram of an open electric circuit.
Parts of a circuit

A power source provides a steady flow of electrons. Larger appliances like heaters and large computers usually get their power from the mains. But small batteries (cells) can also be a power source. The problem with electrical energy obtained from battery power though, is that battery power eventually runs out and the battery has to be thrown away or recharged. On the other hand, electricity flowing from a mains doesn’t run out is much more powerful (and dangerous so be careful!).

Switches allow you control over the circuit. You can stop the flow of electricity by opening the circuit. When the switch is in the “on” position the circuit is complete. When the switch is “off” position the circuit is open.

 There are many interactives for you to practice your understanding of electrical circuits! Check out these below..