A Major Differentiated Science Book for Gifted Students

Essentials of Electricity for Gifted Students: Preparation for

High School Physics, Grades 4 - 8


Francis T. Sganga

Educational Consultant Volusia County, Florida

ISBN 0-910609-46-2

Cost: $18.00 + $1.80 Postage & Handling = $19.80 Total Cost.

Covers all major topics for understanding how electricity operates. Written by an outstanding science educator.

Discussions are based upon the author's extensive experience in teaching science to gifted students. Each chapter is followed by detailed questions (Memory Checks), and answers are found in the Appendix.

Emphasizes the Scientific Method of investigation and problem solving and encourages creative thinking.

The chapters arouse gifted students' scientific curiosity and motivation to explore interesting topics. This curiosity is reinforced through ELEVEN laboratory activities that students can easily perform.

Sganga appeals to the scientific curiosity of students through the use of timely discussions, numerous graphic illustrations and fascinating lab activities (conducted with simple materials such as batteries and magnets).

Includes complete discussions of such topics as Static Electricity, Electrical Charges, Ions,

Thermocouples, Solar Cells, Ohm's Law, Electric Circuits, Watts, Series and Parallel Circuits, and AC and DC Power.

The author has included plans for constructing an innovative device for demonstrating principles underlying electrical motors and generators. He calls this device a GALVANOSCOPE, which is constructed by using simple wire coils and magnets.

This book contains extensive discussions and demonstrations of Magnetism and its relationship to Electricity. It also describes the work of Thomas Alva Edison.

Sganga helps students to understand how the above concepts are applied to such everyday technology as electric pumps, power generators, alternators, transformers, and electrical power plants.

SEND YOUR CHECK OR PURCHASE ORDER TO: GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS; 10201 YUMA COURT; P.O. BOX 1586; MANASSAS, VA 20108. TELEPHONE -- 703-369-5017. Email: mfisher345@comcast.net


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Francis (Frank) Sganga received his B.S. and M.A. degrees at the University of Florida where, as a graduate student, he taught for two years. After working with the U.S. Corps of Engineers for two years, he succumbed to an urge to teach, and wound up spending six years teaching chemistry and physics at the high school level. Teachers' salaries being what they were, his income did not meet the needs of a family of five, so he decided to move into administration. After three years as a teaching principal at a small rural school in Oak Hill, Florida, his performance earned him a promotion to the position of K-12 Science and Mathematics Consultant at the "county level." At the time there were 55 schools in the system.

During his tenure at the supervisory level, he wrote two original competitive proposals for federal grants. The first, Success in Mathematics through Aural-Reading Techniques was an individualized mathematics program at the junior high level that incorporated the use of cassette players. The second, Calculator-Assisted Mathematics for Everyday Living was designed for "General Math" students. The two grants brought some $1 million into the Volusia County, Florida school system.

In his supervisory role he spent a significant amount of time doing demonstration teaching in gifted classes, as well as conducting in-service workshops for their teachers and teachers of regular classes. For two years he taught a hands-on science course at the local junior college to elementary and junior high school teachers.

Also, during that time he became the sole author of two major mathematics programs published by Charles E. Merrill (a Bell & Howell subsidiary) that were sold internationally in English and Spanish editions with sales topping $1.5 million, and invented 15 teaching aids (two patented in his name) that were published by the St. Regis Paper Company.

His writings include A Bee on a Point, a Line and a Plane (NCTM's Mathematics Teacher); An Individualized Approach to Teaching Mathematics [at the middle school level] and How to Solve Word Problems (The Instructor); six articles on How to Help Your Child Succeed in School for the local (New Smyrna Beach, Florida) newspaper, The Observer; and a personal tome titled God, Where Are You?, which he describes as "a well-reasoned affirmation of the existence of God."

Two of his latest books to help students understand and master increasingly rigorous subjects are titled: Essential Mathematics for Gifted Students and Essential Chemistry for Gifted Students, published by Gifted Education Press during the past two years. In the works for year

2004 is Hands-on Mathematics Activities for Gifted Students.

Currently, he is an Educational Consultant, and still tutors students from grades 4 through junior college. His current fun-activities are playing racquetball and riding his brand new V-Star1100 cc Yamaha Silverado motorcycle.

Introductory Statement


August 15, 2003



There is an old saying: “You don’t miss the water till the well runs dry.” At 4:09 pm on August 14, 2003 the electricity “well” went dry when a massive power outage hit several cities in the northeastern part of the United States and Canada. Generators (see page 53) shut down automatically as the system became overloaded and cities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Ontario became part of the Great Blackout of 2003.

People had to be rescued from subways that quit running between stations, and elevators that instantly came to a dead stop, trapping frightened passengers between floors. Nuclear power plants, airports, factories, banks, shopping centers and thousands of other small businesses closed down because they could not function without the electrical nervous system that controlled them. Most Home Depot stores had their own generators, which allowed them to stay open. Home Depot executives immediately had 5,000 home generators, like the one shown below, shipped to their stores in New York and Detroit. 

 The generators come in various “sizes.” This means they have different power outputs, rated in watts (see page 19). Smaller ones can only power small wattage appliances, like CD players, while others can power microwave ovens, dishwashers and TV sets. The one above generates 4300 watts. It can power full-size microwave ovens, larger power tools, such as a circular saw, kitchen appliances, such as a coffee maker and a toaster oven, and a roof top recreational vehicle air conditioner.

An amazing number of things rely upon electrical power. Sanitation workers in cities had to harvest the remains of every dead refrigerator. In Cleveland, residents were ordered to boil water because four electrically-operated pumping stations quit working. Even the beaches were off limits for swimming when a sewage discharge sent bacteria levels soaring. There were many instances when it was back to candles and the use of cigar boxes as cash registers. It was mid-August and hot. With no air conditioning in their apartments, hundreds of city residents slept on their roofs where it was much cooler.

How important is electricity in our lives? Try doing without it for just one day and you’ll see.