Here’s the second school play I’ve recently written. It’s based on the book, “The Shocking Story of Electricity”, which documents the experiments that early scientists used to find out more about electricity and how these discoveries led to the modern conviences we have today.
The Shocking Story of Electricity
Girl: (Using a hairdryer) Electricity is all around us, making all kinds of machines work. But what is it? And where did it come from?
Narrator: Actually, there is an interesting story about how electricity was discovered. Would you like to hear it?
Narrator 1: Sure!
Narrator 2: Well, long ago, in 600BC a scientist named Thales found that if he took a piece of amber and rubbed it with cat fur, it created a kind of electricity.
Thales: (Rubs amber on a cat) The amber has an invisible pulling force. It’s like magic! Let me try it with another material – copper (Rubs it on a cat). It doesn’t work. How could that be? Could it be that some materials create this force while others don’t?
Narrator: In 1752, Benjamin Franklin, thought that lightning was an electrical force in nature and decided to prove it.
Franklin: I will put a metal rod on the top of this kite and tie a key to the kite string, then I’ll fly it in the sky on a stormy day. The lightning will hit the kite and travel down the string where it will hit the key. From this experiment, I can see that metal is a good conductor of electricity, and there is electricity in nature!
Narrator: In 1786, Luigi Galvani made an important discovery when he was cutting a frog’s leg.
Galvani: It jumped! But why? It must be because I am using a metal knife and the tray is also metal. Electricity is carried from my body, through the knife and into the frog’s leg. The frog’s leg is made from water, so it also conducts electricity.
Narrator: Galvani’s friend, Alessandro Volta, got an idea from Galvani’s experiment.
Volta: Hey! Maybe I could use my tongue like you used the frog!
Galvani: Excuse me?
Volta: If I put this coin on my tongue, and another one below, I get a tingling feeling. What happens if I put a lot of coins together? Let me try…Copper, wet cardboard, zinc, wet cardboard…
Narrator: Little did Volta know, but he was about to invent the first battery.
Volta: Wow, I have created an electric current!
Narrator: But, possibly most important inventor in the history of electricity was Michael Faraday.
Faraday: Electricity causes the wire to move around the magnet. This means electricity can be used to make things move! I will call this new invention a “motor”.
Narrator: Not only did Faraday discover that electricity can be used to make things move, he also found moving things can be used to make electricity.
Faraday: The spinning energy of this windmill can be turned into electricity. We can make enough to give power to everybody in the world!
Girl: So, this hairdryer works because Michael Faraday invented the motor?
Thales: No, it is because I, Thales, discovered electricity in the first place!
Franklin: And because I proved there is electricity in nature!
Galvani: And because I, Galvani, found out more about electricity conductors!
Volta: And because I, Volta, invented the battery!
Faraday: And because I, Faraday, invented the motor and the generator!
Girl: Well done, everybody, and thank you. Because without you, we wouldn’t have the modern conveniences we have now!