This is an example of an acceptable lab report. Notice the headings are all in bold and underlined.
Identifying Conductors and Insulators
What items found in the lab will work to complete a circuit and illuminate a bulb?
If metal items are used to complete a circuit, then the bulb will light up.
Various items will be tested to determine what materials will best complete a circuit and light a bulb.
Independent variable: Materials used as conductors
Dependent variable: Brightness of bulb
Control: No real control – items were compared against each other though the wire used in
the open circuit may have been used as comparison.
Constants: Bulb, batteries, and wire
3 “D” Cell batteries Small Flashlight bulb
Battery Holder 2 Insulated Wires
Various items to test as conductors and insulators
1. Set up an incomplete circuit like the pictured diagram on page 206.
2. Choose 3 to 5 items around the room to test.
3. Touch the bare ends of both wires to the various items.
4. Complete a data table that identifies the items and whether or not they caused the bulb to illuminate.
Observations and Data
Items Tried to complete Circuit Bulb Lit (yes or no) Conductor or Insulator
Paperclip YES Conductor
Pencil NO Insulator
Aluminum Foil YES Conductor
Plastic Water Bottle NO Insulator
The objective of this lab was to identify conductors and insulators around the classroom by
attempting to complete an open circuit with various materials. It was hypothesized that metal objects would
perform as the best conductors to complete the circuit and light the bulb. After the experiment was
conducted on various items around the lab, it was confirmed that true metal items did in fact complete the
circuit and light the bulb. In addition, a salt water solution was used to test the circuit and it also completed
the circuit to light the bulb. In order for a series circuit to be complete and provide current to the light bulb
it had to be connected to a power source (the battery) in a complete loop so that current could flow freely to
illuminate the bulb. Using a metal to complete the loop was successful. Metals are good conductors
because the electrons in the atoms in metals flow easily through the material. Salt water likewise contains
Sodium ions which are generally positively charged and will easily pick up the electrons in the current and
carry it along the circuit to the bulb. On the other hand, items such as pencils made of wood and the water
bottle made of plastic did not allow electrons to flow easily and therefore worked as insulators to the
current rather than conductors and did not cause the bulb to glow.