Tag - generator

Lab #37.4 Magnetism: Generator Activator

In this activity, students will investigate electromagnetic induction, the principle behind electric generators.

In 1820, Hans Christian Ørsted found that electricity could create magnetism. Scientists were convinced that if electricity could create magnetism, magnetism could create electricity. Still, 11 years would pass before the induction of electricity from magnetism would be discovered and understood. The best minds of the day set out to make this widely anticipated discovery, but it was Michael Faraday who put all the pieces together. In this activity, we will use a magnet to create an electric current and see how this effect is applied in electric generators.

Required Equipment
Bar magnet (strong alnico magnet is recommended), air core solenoid or a long wire coiled into many loops, connecting wires, galvanometer (–500 µA – 0 – +500 µA recommended), hand-held generator (Genecon® or equivalent), access to a second hand-held generator


Student Worksheet   Teacher Notes

Genecon Hand Crank Generator

In Stock SKU: P6-2631

Deluxe Hand Crank Generator

In Stock SKU: P6-2560

Economy Hand Crank Generator

In Stock SKU: P6-2550

Alnico Bar Magnets Pair

In Stock SKU: P8-1127

Red Hook-up Wire 100ft/spool, 22 ga.

In Stock SKU: P6-1402

Black Hook-up Wire 100ft/spool, 22 ga.

In Stock SKU: P6-1403

Galvanometer -500-0-500 MicroAmp uA

In Stock SKU: P4-1208

Genecon and Lost Energy

lost energy
Gene Easter

Talk about hands on! Students love interacting with Genecons. There’s such a direct connection between cranking the handle and producing electricity. In my energy conservation unit, for example, students can experience energy as electrical current plus heat, sound and electromagnet static.
Gene Easter: With more than 36 years’ experience teaching high school physics, Gene continues to teach Physical Science Methods classes at Kent State University. He is also half of the nationally acclaimed Flying Bernoulli Brothers.

Where Did the Energy Go?

Genecon ExperimentLots of experiments demonstrate energy transfer, but very few show students the law of energy conservation in action. This lab is one of the best, and though it’s very simple, the Genecons make it very exciting for students.

Attach two Genecons together so that one becomes the generator and the other the motor. Instruct students to practice generating electrical current by turning the generator’s handle 1 time. Next, ask students to predict how many handle turns will be produced in the motor when the generator is turned 10 times. Turn the generator 10 times as the students count how many times the motor’s handle actually turns. How can they explain the difference?

For example, if 10 energy units results in 7 energy units of output, what happened to the other 3? One unit produces sound (they can hear the current whirring). One unit produces heat (the energy graveyard!). And the last unit becomes electromagnetic energy.

To demonstrate this electromagnetic energy, put an AM radio between the generator and motor and tune it between stations. As students crank the generator, they actually hear energy being converted into electromagnetic static.

Required Equipment
The Genecon, Leads

Recommended quantity per lab group: 2

Timer & PhotogatesGenecon

Giant Neodymium Magnet

In Stock SKU: P8-1124

Ideal as a battery replacement for a wide variety of basic electricity experiments, the Genecon generator is a low voltage power source that lets you create electrical current by simply turning a crank.

Click here to get it >>

If you need replacement Leads:

Car & RampGenecon Replacement Leads

Do you need more wires for your Genecon? You can get the exact leads you need right here.

Click here to get some>>

If you need replacement Gears:

Car & RampGenecon Replacement Gears

Exact replacement gears for the old blue and white Genecon (pre-2011) hand generators.

Click here to get some >>