# Electricity and Plant Anatomy

## Electricity

We use electricity every day to power complicated things like our computers. However, when you get down to the basics, electricity is just a continuous flow of electrons (negatively charged particles) in a current. These electrons flowing in an electric current can be changed into other forms of energy, such as light in light bulbs.

Circuit - the pathway taken by an electric current

Closed circuits don’t have breaks in them and allow electricity to move through the circuit.

Open circuits prevent the movement of electrical energy because there is a break in the circuit somewhere.

Conductors - materials through which electric currents move well (ex. metals)

Insulators - materials though which electric currents don’t move well (ex. rubber, plastic, wood)

Series circuit - circuit with only one pathway

Parallel circuit - circuit with multiple pathways

Electricity can be used in many ways by transforming electrical energy into different types of energy.

Radiant (light) energy - when electricity powers a light bulb (Thomas Edison invented this method of using electricity)

Thermal (heat) energy - when electricity powers a toaster

Mechanical (motion) energy - when electricity powers a fan

### Static Electricity

You’ve probably experienced static electricity when you rub a balloon against your hair. Static electricity occurs when two objects touch and electrons move from one object to another. Since electrons are negatively charged, the transfer of electrons makes one object positive and the other negative, and opposite charges attract, like with the balloon and the hair.

Static electricity discharge - when one object is charged with static electricity and touches another surface, the electrons may quickly move to that surface, creating a zap (ex. you touch a doorknob and get zapped)

Lightning - a big form of static electricity where electrons build up in the clouds and then discharge to the ground or another cloud

Benjamin Franklin performed a famous experiment where he flew a kite with a key on the string in a big thunderstorm. When he touched the key, he got zapped by the static electricity of lightning.

### Magnetism

Magnetism, when two objects (usually metals) attract or repel each other, is closely related to electricity. Magnetism is caused by electrons moving in the objects. Remember that opposite charges (+ and -) attract, while similar charges (+ and +, - and -) repel.

Magnetic field - the area around a magnet where it can use its magnetic forces (picture on the right)

Electromagnet - a temporary magnet created by using electricity

• To create a simple electromagnet, you can run an electric current through a wire and wrap it around a piece of metal

## Plant Anatomy

Plants have many different parts that all help it grow and reproduce. Below are some plant structures you should know.

Parts of a plant:

Roots - anchor the plant and take water and nutrients from the soil

Stems - provide support and allow movement of water and nutrients

Leaves - get energy from the sun to make food

Flowers - attract pollinators (like bees) and reproduce

Fruits - protect the plant's seeds

Important Vocabulary

Pollination - the process where pollen goes from the stamens to the pistil

Stamen - the male reproductive organ

Pistil - the female reproductive organ

Stigma - the top part of the pistil where pollen lands

Ovule - female reproductive cell

Embryo - the young plant that is developing inside the seed

Flowering plants reproduce through the use of pollen. Stamens release pollen, which travels to the pistil and lands on the stigma. Then, the pollen travels down into the pistil and fertilizes the ovule. The fertilization event creates a seed, and inside this seed is an embryo.

### Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis - the process through which green plants make their own food

Chlorophyll - this is what makes leaves green and helps leaves absorb sunlight energy

Plants take in carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight to make sugar and oxygen.