# Resistor Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Resistors are parts of electrical circuits that provide electrical power. In this lesson, you will learn what a resistor is, why it is important in a circuit, and how it operates within a circuit.

## Electricity in Electronics

Have you ever had an electrical toy, radio, television, or computer that stopped working? Maybe a parent or teacher suggested it might be because it blew or burned out.

You probably know that electronics need electricity to work, but did you know that they can receive too much electricity? If electronics are plugged in and receive too much electricity from the socket, their insides can get damaged and the devices stop working.

Some electronics, or objects powered by electricity, require less electricity than others to work. Like how larger toys usually require larger batteries than smaller toys to work.

The electricity used to power electronics comes from an electrical circuit. Electricity travels on the circuit in the form of an electrical current. An electrical circuit has different parts that work together to make it work. For this lesson, we will focus on the part known as the resistor on an electrical circuit.

## What's a Resistor?

The resistor is the part of an electrical circuit that resists, or limits, the power of an electrical current in a circuit. The resistor also helps to reduce, or lessen, the amount of electricity moving through the circuit.

Resistors are important to circuits because they reduce the amount of electricity traveling by a current through the circuit. This ensures that the right amount of electricity is provided to an object that needs electricity to work.

## How Does a Resistor Work Within a Circuit?

Think about water hoses. When the water hose is tangled up or has a knot in it, the space that the water can move through is much smaller. Therefore, less water can travel through those areas.

That is similar to the way a resistor works on an electrical circuit. As electricity moves through a circuit, it has its full amount or power until it reaches the resistor. The resistor resists or reduces the amount of electrical current flowing through the circuit. This is to make sure that too much electricity is not powered through the circuit.

Most resistors use chemicals such as carbon and binder that are good for resisting electrical currents.

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