Investigating Conductivity

The second laboratory activity is designed to be a primary scaffold to understanding the fundamentals of conductivity, voltage, current, and resistance. Students construct a simple continuity tester consisting of a battery, an LED, and two insulated wires. Students learn how to solder electrical components together and can use this device to investigate the conductivity of different materials.

Essential Question:

What are the properties of electricity?


  • continuity tester
  • magnet
  • wood
  • copper
  • iron

Step 1

Place the ends of tester on the material you are testing, and see if the LED lights up.



Step 2

The tester should light up when it makes contact with the copper. Copper is one of the most common conductive materials and can be found in many electronics.

Step 3

Now, use your continuity tester to determine what other materials conduct electricity.