The What’s a Watt? activity helps students explore the concepts of amps, volts, and watts and how they relate to some common, everyday appliances.

**Getting It Across**

Discuss with students the definitions of amps, volts, watts, and megawatts.

**Amps:** The measure of the amount of electricity used.

**Volts:** The measure of the pressure or force of electricity.

**Watts:** Amps multiplied by the volts gives you the watts. This is the measure of the work that electricity does per second.

**Megawatts:** One million watts.

This activity asks students to use the formula **amps x volts = watts** to figure out how many watts these typical appliances use. Most homes are served by 120-volt electricity, so students are asked to use that as the value for volts in their equations.

**Extension**

- Have students research what types of appliances in their homes might use very few watts
*(clock, flashlight, or phone)*or lots of watts*(clothes dryer, oven, or central air conditioner)*and report back to the class. - Discuss with students when megawatts might be used.
*(For measuring the watts used by cities or generated by power plants.)*