Learning Aims:
  • Applying the knowledge about the properties of batteries connected in series/parallel in a real life situation
  • Understanding the effects of electricity on a living organism

Text about the electric eel Internet resources on how the electric eel creates electricity

Suggestions for use:

In this activity students should apply the previously gained knowledge in a real life situation of the animal world. Students study the text or use other internet resources about the electric eel. On the basis of it they can prepare a short presentation analyzing and explaining the fact that the electric eel can manage to produce a current in order to kill its prey without shocking itself. The interdisciplinary physics-biology approach can be enhanced by looking up information about the anatomy and physiology of electric eel (electric ray, electric catfish, etc.) and its organs producing electricity. The activity can be carried out in a bounded inquiry mode, e.g. as a home assignment. Students in groups or individually search information in order to present and discuss it in front of the class.

Possible Questions:
  • How can the electric eel manage to produce a current that large without shocking itself?
  • What are the emf devices of the electric eel? How are they connected? Draw a sketch of its emf devices.
  • What is the typical voltage produced by the electric eel?
  • Explain why the eel kills its prey and does not hurt itself.
  • What other animals prey the same way?