Science Time

Electricity: A Shocking Experience

Become immersed in a highly visual and entertaining 1-hour story of the nature of electricity, and how this potentially very dangerous form of energy has been "tamed" and put to use for the common good.
See a 100 000-volt Van de Graaff generator, human battery, one-half-metre-long indoor sparks, St. Elmo's fire, one-half-million-volt Tesla coil, current in special gases, transmission of electrical power without wires, and much more, and learn some fascinating historical facts about the people and events behind advances in electrical technology.
Study the origin of electricity, behaviour of charged objects, production and use of electric current and associated energy changes, conductors and insulators, production of X-rays and radio waves, the difference between volts and amps and between DC and AC, the significance of a high voltage sign, electrical safety, and features of high voltage, high frequency electricity (including its effect on the human body!!), and appreciate the contribution of electricity to our social and economic well-being.


The content of this show relates to the following content descriptions of the Australian Curriculum: Science.
Science Understanding: ACSSU 076, 097, 115, 155, 182.
Science as a Human Endeavour: ACSHE 013,021, 022, 034, 035, 050, 051, 098, 100, 160.
Science Inquiry Skills: ACSIS 011, 024, 037.


Suitable for upper primary and lower secondary. A modified Magic Science show for lower primary is also available.


Cost: $6.00, plus 60c GST, per student
Minimum: $660, plus $66 GST
Teacher Notes supplied

Venue Requirements 

Data projector and screen; three tables; enclosed venue (sparks cannot be seen in bright light); ground (or an earthed building frame) within 9 m of the demonstration area; close fire alarms, computers, and other electronic devices turned off during show (electrical signals may activate an alarm).

Feedback From Schools

  • "Peter's electricity show was very well received. The children were engaged and couldn't stop talking about it. One of the children said 'I really learnt a lot.' This was from a child who usually does not engage in education very much at all. So congratulations to Peter and thank you for the opportunity of introducing him to our school. Chris Pitman, Boondall State School, Brisbane
  • "Peter captivated the students with his knowledge and demonstrations. His program was very well structured and, being an experienced teacher, his communication with the students was excellent. The program provided wonderful enrichment for all the children whilst covering significant learning outcomes for the class. All experiments were conducted with extreme safety. Peter's presentation is very educational and good value for money." Sandra Cox, Redeemer Lutheran Primary School, Biloela
  • "Very good show. Informative, a lot of interaction, high interest, safety conscious, clear, at the children's level of understanding, held their attention, well explained." Upper school teachers, Liddiard Road Primary School, Traralgon, Victoria
  • "Good involvement of audience. Interesting way to present and learn about electricity. Good opportunity for younger students—many primary school students don't get to do that sort of science." Mick Godbold, Sheldon College
  • "Great audience involvement. Peter was able to introduce students to much more than we could as classroom teachers (e.g., Tesla coil). Staff also learned more! Children were "spellbound"! Peter had a great approach for littlies." Sioned Ruhmann, Gunnedah South Public School