Educational Outreach

Circuits and Electric Vehicles

Circuit Car Activity


Learning Outcomes:

This lesson will focused on electrical systems in electrical engineering, specifically a simple electrical system consist of a power source such as a battery, a transportation device such as a wire, and a target; which can be either a light bulb, led screen, etc.  Students will be able to list STEM Careers that involve electrical engineering, learn the basics of a circuit and an induction motor and understand how electric vehicles have affected the vehicle industry.


  • 1 popsicle stick
  • 2 Lego axels
  • 4 Lego wheels
  • 1 Induction motor
  • 1 gear
  • 1 battery holder
  • 2- AA batteries
  • 1 roll of tape

How It Works:

Electrical Engineering is the study behind the equipment that use electricity, such as batteries and circuits! If something has a circuit and a battery, then there was an electrical engineer involve. The biggest field for electrical engineers to enter research is battery technology, such as the move from Lithium-ion technology to Solid State technology.
Electric vehicles is a growing area in electrical engineering, as the race to more renewable energy resources grows.
The most challenging factor of electric vehicle is range and price. There is huge amount of research involve in improving battery technology by increasing the amount of energy stored and making the production less costly for businesses.
Becoming an electrical engineer begins with a love for lightning, an aptitude for analytical reasoning and a knack for problem-solving. You can build your own circuit and see how it works with this project!


Activity 1: Simple Circuit

A circuit is a path that electricity flows along. It starts at a power source, like a battery, and flows through a wire to a light bulb or other object and back to other side of the power source.

Activity 2: Insulators and Conductors

Materials that electricity can flow through are call conductors. Materials that stop electricity from flowing are called insulators. You can find out which things around your house are conductors and which are insulators using the circuit you made in the last project to test them!

Activity 3: Electric Vehicles

The big difference between electric vehicles and traditional combustion vehicles is what is used to more the vehicle. Traditional combustion vehicles use combustion reactions; which use the process of taking a carbon and hydrogen base compound, or in the case of vehicles, gasoline, and reacting it with oxygen. As the gasoline and air mix a spark plug creates a small electrical spark which starts of the reaction, the reaction creates huge amount of energy which then pushes a piston down; this process is done multiple time a minute – from 1000 to 8000 times/rotations? a minute. One huge consequence of traditional combustion vehicles is the result of these combustion reactions, because when gasoline and oxygen react, the resulting compounds are water and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the leading compound for global pollution and global climate change.


  1. What conclusions can you make about the flow of electricity in a closed circuit?
  2. If a circuit is not working properly, like a light bulb not lighting up, what may be some possible causes?
  3. Do you think an inductive material can be transform into a conductive material? Hint: think of distil water and salt water.
  4. Explain the benefits of inductors and conductors and how they are useful on current devices.
  5. Why does swapping the power and ground cable change the direction of the motor?
  6. What are ways that we can increase the speed of the vehicle?

Additional Resources