Lesson Plan: Electrifying Art: Electricity

Students learn about how electricity works and apply it to their artwork. Students will also learn about TriCounty EMC, who provides electricity to many of the students at the school. Students will be able to learn about the many jobs and support the Co-op provides to the surrounding communities.

Grade Level Content   Author
6-12Art, Business, ScienceErica Levai

Essential Questions

What is electricity? What is a Co-op? What are careers in the electricity field?


90 minutes

NC Standards

  • PSc.3.3.1 Summarize static and current electricity. 
  • PSc.3.3.2 Explain simple series and parallel DC circuits in terms of Ohm’s law.
  • P.V.3.1 Compare properties of tools in the creation of art.

Making Connections/Background

Tri-County EMC is a not-for-profit rural electric utility cooperative that provides safe, efficient electric energy to members of Wayne, Duplin, Lenoir, Johnston, Jones, Sampson, and Wilson counties. TriCounty Electric Membership Corporation provides electricity to 7,825 people in our school district. The electric Co-op is 1 of 26 in the state, and provides the lowest electric rates in the state.


Materials needed for each student

  • Computer
  • Paper
  • Copper Tape
  • Light Bulb
  • Battery
  • Pencil

Teacher Tips

  1. Each student should work independently.
  2. Students need to plan out their design and placement of lightbulbs before starting.
  3. Make the extension activity a competition in which TriCounty employees could vote on the winners.


  • Students will take notes on electricity (refer to the Electricity and Circuits slide deck).
  • Students will then apply what they know about electricity and circuits to add light to their artwork using copper tape, a battery, and light bulbs.
  • When students are finished with their artwork they will explore the TriCounty EMC website and answer questions about the Co-op.

Wrap Up and Action

To assess student understanding of the activity, students can answer exit ticket questions about their final product. The class can also discuss how the electricity flows through the circuit in their final product.


About the Author

Erica Levai is a 2020-21 Kenan Fellow and an assistant principal at Wallace-Rose Hill High School in Teachey, NC. For the past 10 years, she has taught science at James Kenan High School in Warsaw, NC. She loves helping students and teachers make connections to the real world with the topics they are learning in the classroom.

About the Fellowship

Erica interned with Tri-County EMC where she learned the history of the electric cooperative model and saw firsthand how Tri-County EMC is innovating its services and enhancing systems to continue to meet, and exceed, the expectations of its members.