Dark and stormy night

making_a_torchYear 8 students have just begun a unit of work on electricity, by making a circuit and a switch from simple materials, such as aluminium foil, drawing pins and paper clips. Their next task is to make a torch that can be operated with one hand. Imagine you are driving with Dad in the car on a dark and stormy night. The car breaks down and Dad has to walk to the nearest house, about an hour away. You scratch through the glove-box and behind the car seat and this is what you find:

  • 2 batteries
  • cardboard tube
  • aluminium foil
  • paper clips
  • drawing pins
  • sticky tape
  • copper wires
  • a globe from the overhead light

Can you make a torch, with a switch, that can be turned on and off with one hand? Your torch will be judged on it’s reliability, ease of operation, brightness of beam and sturdiness of the connections.

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