Electric Face

A timber and steel exhibit table with matching information panel at the back. On the table are two blue interactive objects, of which one has a green cut out face.
A timber and steel exhibit table with matching information panel at the back. On the table are two blue interactive objects, of which one has a green cut out face.

Different types of generators can be used to create an electric field.

How it works

Use different generators (batteries, power pack, solar cell or hand crank) to animate a cartoon face.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • How does the face react for each type of electricity source?
  • Why does the needle on the meter move differently for each source?
  • What do you notice about the voltage for each source and the strength of the field?
  • What are some different ways of generating electricity?

Background

Each electricity source causes electric charges inside the wires to move in an electric field. When the electric field is established, you see the animated face react. The strength of the electric field is shown on an ammeter for each generator or source.

Finding the science in your world

Domestic appliances use batteries, power packs and solar cells. Although they are less common, hand-cranked gadgets are sometimes used to recharge flashlight batteries or mobile phone rechargers. Solar cells are often found in garden lights or calculators, as well as photovoltaic solar cells installed on some rooftops.

Choosing a generator depends on convenience and efficiency of energy conversion. Some generators are more efficient at converting one form of energy (such as mechanical movement) into an electrical energy field that can be used by appliances. Similarly, some appliances are more convenient in battery form than in power pack form, because the appliance needs to be used outdoors, away from a power point.