The Instructable will show you how to make a very simple electric generator that can light up an LED when you shake it back and forth.  It's a simple experiment that demonstrates how an electric generator works.  The generator made here can not store energy so the LED is lit only while shaking it.

The generator creates a small AC current, which is why the LED in the video appears to flicker.  A cool addition to this project would be to add a rectifier to demonstrate the differences between AC and DC and how to convert AC to DC.

Step 1: Materials

Materials for the lights:
  • Film canisters.  You may have to explain to younger makers what film is. ;)
  • Magnets.  The more powerful the magnets the more powerful the generator will be.  I used 1" rare earth ring magnets; they fit very well in the film canisters.
  • Magnet wire.  This is copper wire coated with a thin enamel.  Anything thinner than 25 gauge wire should do and you probably need 10'-15' of wire per generator.  Ebay is a good source.
  • LEDs.  I used 10mm blue LEDs but any normal LEDs should do.
  • Thin cardboard, like from a cereal box.
  • Tape, preferably electrical tape.
You really only need some scissors and sandpaper for tools.  No soldering is necessary.  An X-acto knife would be handy.

Obligatory safety message: Rare earth magnets are strong and they can painfully pinch fingers.  They will snap together astonishingly fast.  They are also brittle and will shatter into a thousand little pieces if they snap together from more than a few inches.  Kids can't help themselves and will test to see how far apart they can hold the magnets before they attract each other.  This will shatter them.
How can you store the energy? <br> <br>Please write me, or make an instructable, cause I&quot;m working on a generator, and i have to store the energy. <br> <br>Thanks
If you need to store a small amount of energy you can use capacitors, which could keep the LED lit for a second or two. For more energy you'll need to use rechargeable batteries. They will require a lot of regulating circuitry.
yes, i need to store a lot of energy, not for seconds, its for charge something maybe, like the solar panel. <br> <br>So if i have a &quot;thing&quot; what have a rechargeable battery, and it can charge with AC, i can simply get this, and its circuit, and i can connect to my generator? <br> <br>Ohh, and sorry for my English, I'am from Hungary :)
For something simple check this out: https://www.instructables.com/id/4-Solar-Battery-Charger/

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