Electricity is a powerful and fascinating force of nature. As early as 600 b.c., observers of the physical world suspected that electricity existed but did not have a name for it. In fact, real progress in unraveling the mystery of electricity has come only within the last 250 years.


  1. Demonstrate that you know how to respond to electrical emergencies by doing the following:
    1. Show how to rescue a person touching a live wire in the home.
    2. Show how to render first aid to a person who is unconscious from electrical shock.
    3. Show how to treat an electrical burn.
    4. Explain what to do in an electrical storm.
    5. Explain what to do in the event of an electrical fire.
  2. Complete an electrical home safety inspection of your home, using the checklist found in the Electricity merit badge pamphlet or one approved by your counselor. Discuss what you find with your counselor.
  3. Make a simple electromagnet and use it to show magnetic attraction and repulsion.
  4. Explain the difference between direct current and alternating current.
  5. Make a simple drawing to show how a battery and an electric bell work.
  6. Explain why a fuse blows or a circuit breaker trips. Tell how to find a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker in your home. Show how to safely reset the circuit breaker.
  7. Explain what overloading an electric circuit means. Tell what you have done to make sure your home circuits are not overloaded.
  8. On a floor plan of a room in your home, make a wiring diagram of the lights, switches, and outlets. Show which fuse or circuit breaker protects each one.
  9. Do the following:
    1. Read an electric meter and, using your family's electric bill, determine the energy cost from the meter readings.
    2. Discuss with your counselor five ways in which your family can conserve energy.
  10. Explain the following electrical terms: volt, ampere, watt, ohm, resistance, potential difference, rectifier, rheostat, conductor, ground, circuit, and short circuit.
  11. Do any TWO of the following:
    1. Connect a buzzer, bell, or light with a battery. Have a key or switch in the line.
    2. Make and run a simple electric motor (not from a kit).
    3. Build a simple rheostat. Show that it works.
    4. Build a single-pole, double-throw switch. Show that it works.
    5. Hook a model electric train layout to a house circuit. Tell how it works.


Scouting Literature

Atomic Energy, Chemistry, Electronics, Energy, Engineering, First Aid, Home Repairs, Lifesaving, and Safety merit badge pamphlets


  • Asimov, Isaac. The Kite That Won the Revolution. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1963.
  • Bartholomew, Alan. Electric Gadgets and Gizmos. Kids Can Press, 1998.
  • Billings, Charlene W. Superconductivity: From Discovery to Breakthrough. Cobblehill Books; Dutton, 1991.
  • Challant, Helen J. Experiments With Electricity (A New True Book). Children's Press, Regensteiner Publishing Enterprises Inc., 1986.
  • Clemmet, Mike. Electricity and Magnetism. BBC Books, 1998.
  • De Pinna, Simon. Electricity Science Projects. Raintree Steck Vaughn, 1998.
  • DiSpezio, Michael Anthony. Awesome Experiments in Electricity and Magnetism. Sterling, 1998.
  • Dixon, Malcolm, and Karen Smith. Electricity. Smart Apple Media, 1998.
  • Epstein, Sam and Beryl. The First Book of Electricity, revised ed. Franklin Watts, 1977.
  • Flaherty, Michael. Electricity and Batteries (Science Factory). Copper Beach Books, 1999.
  • Gibilisco, Stan. Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics. McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  • Good, Keith. Zap It! Exciting Electricity Activities. Lerner Publications Co., 1999.
  • Levine, Shar, and Leslie Johnson. The Magnet Book. Sterling Publishing Co. Inc., 1998.
  • Matt, Stephen R. Electricity and Basic Electronics. The Goodheart-Willcox Co. Inc., 1998.
  • Meiani, Antonella. Magnetism: Experimenting With Science. Lerner Publications Co., 2003.
  • Morrison, Ralph. Electricity: A Self-Teaching Guide. John Wiley, 2003.
  • Parker, Steve. Electricity and Magnetism (Science Fact Files). Raintree Steck Vaughn, 2001.
  • ——. Eyewitness Science: Electricity. Dorling Kindersley Inc., 2000.
  • Parsons, Alexandra. Make it Work! Electricity. World Book Inc., 1997.
  • Riley, Peter D. Electricity (Straightforward Science). Watts, 1998.
  • Royston, Angela. My World of Science: Using Electricity. Reed Educational and Professional Publishing, 2002.
  • Veglahn, Nancy. Coils, Magnets, and Rings: Michael Faraday's World. Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan Inc., 1976.
  • Wood, Robert W. Electricity and Magnetism FUNdamentals: FUNtastic Science Activities for Kids. Chelsea House, 1999.
  • ——. Physics for Kids: 49 Easy Experiments With Electricity and Magnetism. TAB Books, 1990.