Electricity has been around since the world began. However, only in the last 200 years or so has electricity been discovered and studied. According to legend, it was Benjamin Franklin, with his kite and key who first discovered electricity. Many years later, Thomas Edison invented the first electric light bulb. Today, you can hardly find a house in the United States that isn't totally dependent on electrical power.

But, how does it work? How does electricity cause the light, stereo or stove to come on? Well, first of all, an electric current must have a conductor to allow it to flow freely. Metals are conductors of electricity. Wires that are used in electrical appliances are made of metal wires. When you flip on a light switch or push the "on" button on your video games, an current, or river of electricity, flows through those wires.

What other things can be conductors of electricity? Water, for one, can conduct electricity. That's why it's important to stay away from water during a lightning storm. The lightning is electricity and is drawn to the water.

The wires have a plastic coating around them. The plastic serves as an insulator. An insulator does not allow electric current to flow freely. So while the current is flowing through the wire, you can touch it without being burned because the insulator protects your hands.

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