Electrons Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What are Electrons?
  • 0:36 Electrons in Various Atoms
  • 1:04 Bonding Atoms
  • 1:38 Creating Electricity
  • 2:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Patrick Zedrow

Patrick has taught intermediate science, language arts, and technology. He has a master's degree in educational technology.

Love your electronics? Well, take a closer look at that word and you will see 'electron.' Electrons are important for so many amazing things that happen around us, including electricity. This lesson focuses on the nature of electrons, where they are found, and how they work.

What are Electrons?

Inside an atom, the very small unit found inside an element, there are even tinier particles that move like planets orbiting around the sun. These particles move at such an incredible speed that you cannot even see them under a microscope.

We call them electrons, and they are particles charged up with tons of energy. They are so small, but they contain the same amount of energy as a particle that is 1,000 times its size. No wonder they move so fast!

Atom with electrons

Electrons in Various Atoms

The atoms that make up everything around you, from the air you breathe to the change in your pocket, have electrons. Some types of atoms have more electrons than others.

For example, an oxygen atom, found in the air, has only 8 electrons. Meanwhile, a copper atom, found in pennies and pipes in your house, have 29 electrons. This number is different for all the many types of atoms out there!

Bonding Atoms

Everywhere you look, atoms are bound together. For example, water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen. What holds these atoms together? Electrons, of course!

These atoms will actually share their electrons to form a bond. Have you ever held hands with a family member? You are bonded together by your hands, kind of like atoms are bonded together by electrons. The only difference is that when atoms do this, they can form a totally new substance!

Atoms bonding

Creating Electricity

Many metals, such as copper, aluminum, and iron, are very good conductors of electricity. This means that electricity can pass through them very easily.

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