The first thing we looked at was polarity.
The bulbs only work if they are placed on the battery the right way around (slip a wire from the bulb on each side of the battery - either hold it or tape it in place).
It took the children some time to figure out that this is why they sometimes worked - and sometimes didn't!
We taped some bulbs to the batteries, put them into jars and made little night-lights (very pretty!).
Of course, then the children wanted an on-off switch!! Luckily clever Mom had already pulled some electronic componants together from an old electronics kit. Voila!!
This would be a fun thing to start a science project with, and get your teenagers interested in batteries and electricity.
Could they make a battery themselves that would light the led bulbs? How many bulbs can they light at a time with different voltage of batteries? Could they make an LED flashing sign? They might also try making a cluster light - instructions here.
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