Electrical Conductors and Insulators
A pair of scissors could be used to complete an electrical circuit.

Electrical Conductors and Insulators

In this KS2 Science quiz we take a closer look at two things which are vital if we want to control electricity - electrical conductors and insulators.

Electrical conductors and insulators control heat. There’s nothing like a power cut to make you grateful for electricity! Ordinarily, people take it for granted but we haven’t always had power in our homes. The brilliant Serbian inventor and electrical engineer, Nicola Tesla, invented the generating system which sends electricity to our homes. He also created a method to harness electrical energy and send it anywhere on Earth, although he died before it was completed.

In order to harness electricity, you need to know all about electrical conductors and insulators. Do you know why electrical plugs are made from plastic or why insulators are important in an electrical circuit? Check your knowledge with this science quiz.

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  1. In a complete electrical circuit, which materials does electricity flow through?
    Every component (part) of a complete electrical circuit must include a material which conducts electricity
  2. Why are electrical plugs made of plastic?
    Plastic is an electrical insulator. If plugs weren't made of plastic (or another insulator), it would be impossible to touch the plug without receiving an extremely dangerous electric shock
  3. Which of these is a good electrical conductor?
    Electricity passes easily though anything wet, such as sweaty hands, and also through the human body. This is why it is so important to NEVER touch a live lead and to always be careful when using electrical objects. Never touch anything electric when you have damp hands
  4. Which of these is not an electrical insulator?
    Silver, like other metals, is not a good electrical insulator. In fact, silver is the best electrical conductor. Because of its expense, it is not used as often as copper
  5. The filament in a light bulb glows because of the material's resistance. What does this mean?
    Resistivity is a measure of how well materials conduct electricity - less resistance means greater conductivity
  6. A material which is an electrical conductor does what?
    Conductors are used to transfer electricity from one place to another, for example in a circuit
  7. A material which is an electrical insulator does what?
    Insulators are used to prevent electricity from passing through
  8. Why are insulators important in an electrical circuit?
    Insulating materials protect us (and other living organisms) from electrical currents and they also protect the circuit from damage or interference
  9. Which of these could be used to complete an electrical circuit?
    Scissors are made of metal and all metals can conduct electricity
  10. Which of these is not an electrical conductor?
    Rubber is an excellent electrical insulator

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