Tab Topics 2

Charge and Flow

The game can help...

While playing the game, students will observe that the monsters start out making sound, and that the sound is jumbled. The monsters must be properly connected in order for the music to be coherent. This is much like the way in which wires contain electrons, but they will transmit energy only when properly connected with a flow of charges caused by a difference of voltages.

Electricity Slideshow

The slideshow reinforces the notion of flow by contagion rather than by movement through space. It is intended as a support for the use of the music studio puzzle in the Monster Music game, and as an analogy for the idea of the flow of electrical charge or current. Slide 6 shows that each part has two opposite charges: Like charges repel each other, and unlike charges attract each other. Slide 7 shows that when charges are aligned, electricity flows. Slides 8–9 use the analogy of laughter being infectious as a way to describe energy moving. Laughter is not a substance, and neither is energy.

 Download slideshow PPT

What the Textbooks Say

Usually a page or two of text is devoted to the movement of charges. Objects become charged when electrons are transferred to or away from them: Opposite charges attract, like charges repel, and current is the flow of charges. Students may be left with the misconception that electrical current is the flow of electrons through initially "empty" wires.

See classroom activities related to Matter vs. Energy