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How To Demonstrate Making and Understanding Switches in Circuits

How To Demonstrate Making and Understanding Switches in Circuits

In this short video, Denise Ralph RSciTech shows how to demonstrate making and understanding switches in circuits. Understanding switches in circuits is crucial in GCSE Physics as it provides foundational knowledge of circuit operation, control over electrical devices, promotes safety, aids in circuit design and troubleshooting, and is assessed in exams.

You will need:

      • A piece of thin card (0.5 cm wider than a paper clip)
      • 1 x metal paper clip
      • 2 x paper fasteners
      • Power Pack 1.5V
      • 3 Wires
      • Light bulb / holder
      • Graph paper
      • 2 x crocodile clips


  1. Cut cardboard into a strip 0.5 cm wider than paper clip
  2. Half way down the card make a small slit each side (opposite each other)
  3. Push a paper fastener into the slits and press both the back of the fastener to the same side facing outwards.
  4. Hook the paperclip over one of the fasteners.
  5. Make sure the paperclip can move and touch the other fastener.

Testing the Switch:

  1. Make a simple circuit using Power Pack, light bulb/holder, wires to check the bulb lights.
  2. To make the circuit insert the homemade switch, using the 3rd wire and crocodile clip.
  3. Open and close the switch by moving the paperclip so it touches the other paper fastener
  4. Moving the paperclip to tough the opposite paper fastener will turn the light on, moving the paperclip away from the opposite paper fastener will break the connection and the light will go out.

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