Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology


Figure from experiment 7 from Renewable Energy with Vernier


Where does electricity come from? Electricity on a large scale is seen in nature as lightning, but lightning is not “harvested” to light buildings, run air conditioning or heaters, or power computers and mobile devices. Instead, electricity has to be generated by converting it from another form of energy.

Generators have three main components–coils of wire, magnetic fields, and motion. The wire or the magnets have to move relative to one another to induce electrons in the wires to move.

In this activity, you will build a simple generator and explore how these variables affect generator performance. It is easy to generate small amounts of electricity, but it can be challenging to generate enough power to light a bulb, turn a motor, or power a house.


  • Generate electricity using magnets and coils of wire.
  • Distinguish between direct current and alternating current.
  • Compare generators and motors.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Experiment 7 from Renewable Energy with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Renewable Energy with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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