Source: D4K: “Electricity"
Visit the D4K companion Web site to learn more about Electricity: D4K: “Electricity"
In this video segment from IdahoPTV's D4K you follow electricity from its generation at a hydroelectric plant to your home, while learning some of the vocabulary about electricity. Discover some other sources of electricity, and why it is so dangerous.
JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN: The electricity we use in our homes and schools starts at a power plant. Here in Idaho a lot of electricity comes from hydro-electric power. These plants use water to turn a turbine in a generator. A generator is basically a big magnet surrounded by a coil of copper wire. As the magnet spins it produces electricity. Now, electricity doesn’t do you much good until it moves. Electricity flowing through wires is called an electric current.
Electricity just won’t flow through anything. Some materials conduct electricity better than others. Electricity can’t go through plastic or rubber. Those things are known as insulators.
Things like metal wires are called conductors. Once electricity is generated at the power plant it flows to your home or school over wires. All the wires together are known as a grid. Power companies across the country work together to make sure the power grid is full and flowing. That way when you turn on your TV electricity powers it up.
You can find electricity in other places. In 1752 Benjamin Franklin proved thunder clouds contain electricity. You know it as lightning.
Static electricity is around all of us. It is caused by friction like when you rub two surfaces together. Have you ever been shocked? That’s static electricity.
There’s electricity in batteries. We even have electricity in our bodies but don’t forget, electricity can hurt you too. Don’t get near downed power lines, don’t play with electric wires in your house and stay inside when there’s lightning.
Electricity is a force to respect.
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