The Electrical Generator

In this multi-part simulation, the student generates current and lights a bulb in a variety of different ways: using a movable bar magnet, using an electromagnet and transformer, and using a very simple hydroelectric generator. The simulation provides a good visualization of the production of alternating current. Lesson plans are also available for the teacher on this site. Electromagnetic induction involves changing magnetic flux to induce an electric current. Students have trouble visualizing this, since magnetic fields and electric current are both invisible to them. Through this engaging set of simulated activities, the student can draw the connection that it is not the magnetic field per se, but changes in the magnetic field in the vicinity of a coil that produce current. That electricity and magnetism are tightly coupled become more readily apparent when exploring their interactions through this simulation.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3231.5.6
Understand magnetic poles, magnetic fields, and investigate electromagnetic induction.
CLE 3231.5.7
Understand that moving charges give rise to magnetism.
GLE 0801.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Learning Goals:

  • Identify equipment and conditions that produce induction
  • Compare and contrast how both a light bulb and voltmeter can be used to show characteristics of the induced current
  • Predict how the current will change when the conditions are varied.
  • Explain practical applications of Faraday's Law
  • Explain what is the cause of the induction

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Topics discussed:

  • Generator
  • Faraday's Law
  • Magnetic Field