Can Salt Water Produce Electricity?

Objective: Build a mini circuit and test the circuit in both salt and fresh water

Materials: All Materials involved with the exception of Water & Salt are available at! Click on the Catalog numbers beside each material.  


 Can also be done with a low voltage light bulb!  See below




  1. 1. Cover both craft sticks with aluminum foil.
  2. 2. Take the buzzer and tape the red wire to the positive end of the battery
  3. 3. Tape one foil-covered craft stick to the black wire. Tape the other one to the negative side of the battery.
  4. 4. Test your buzzer by touching the two sticks together. You should be able to produce a buzzer sound. If this does            not work, check all of your connections.
  5. 5. Does salt water conduct electricity? As a matter of fact, it does! In this science experiment, your student will build a            mini circuit and test it in both salt water and fresh water. It's a simple experiment, but it will show how salt water             acts as a conductor to electrical currents while reinforcing important lessons about conductivity and electricity.
  6. 6. Put the two sticks into a cup of salt water about 5 cm apart. Do not touch the sticks together.
  7. 7. Try the experiment with fresh water.


Discussion Questions:


  1. 1.    Why can you produce electricity without the two sticks touching? (The salt “ions” water acts like a wire and completes the circuit to enable the buzzer to go off.)
  2. 2.    Why does the buzzer not go off when the two sticks are put in the fresh water? (There is no conductor.)