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Mystery Card 1
Task with Student Directions

4th Grade Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
NYS Alternative Assessment in Science Project (1996)


At this station, you will be using an electric tester to determine where electricity flows between circles on a mystery card.


  • 1 electrical tester
  • 1 mystery card

The diagram below represents an electrical tester.


  1. Look at the electric tester in front of you and make sure that it looks like the electric tester shown in the diagram above.
  2. Touch the free ends of the wire clips together to see if your bulb will light up. If it doesn't, please raise your hand to let the teacher know right away.
  3. Touch circle A on the mystery card with one wire clip. AT THE SAME TIME, touch circle B with the other wire clip.
  4. Record your observations on the answer sheet.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for circles A to C and circles A to D.
  6. Answer questions 2 and 3 on the answer sheet.


Answer Sheet

  1. Describe what happened to the bulb when the circles were touched.

    A to B

    A to C

    A to D

  2. Write a sentence that tells why the bulb acted the way it did when both circle A and circle C were touched.

  3. Using the data you have collected, draw what you think the connections look like inside the mystery card.


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