Not only is electricity everywhere, it has its own sign language.

The symbols of electrical sign language are international. That means that other countries use the same symbols. So when you learn this language in Canada, you can understand it in other countries, too.

When you put the symbols together, you make a map of the circuit. This is what it looks like.



The circuit is like a message in code. You read the code by following the path of electrons through the circuit map. See if you can explain it to a friend.

Lamps light up. Toasters heat up. Vacuum cleaners vacuum. Radios turn on. Things that bring light, heat, movement and sound all need the same thing-electrons. Every time you turn on a lamp, you complete a circuit and electrons can flow. Each lamp is part of an electric circuit until you turn it off again. Most of that circuit is hidden inside the walls. All you can see is a plug in a wall socket and a wire leading to the lamp.

Many things cannot stay plugged into the wall like a lamp can. Things that can be moved around, like flashlights and cars, get their electrons from batteries. The small batteries in flashlights produce electrons every time the flashlights are on. But eventually the flashlight will no longer be able to turn on because the battery has worn out and "died". The battery has stopped producing electrons and you need new batteries!

Car batteries are much large. They must produce electrons for all electrical car parts like the horn, and the headlights whenever the car is running. But as long as the car is turned on, a special part called the generator is working to recharge the battery. A car battery can produce electrons for years before it must be replaced.