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Mystery Card 3
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 electrical tester to determine where electricity flows between circles on a mystery card.


  • 1 electrical tester
  • 1 mystery card

Mystery Card

  • The diagram below represents an electrical tester.


  1. Look at the electrical tester in front of you and make sure that it looks like the electrical 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.
    If the bulb lights, put a check in the YES column in the chart on page two.
    If the bulb does not light, put a check in the NO column in the chart.

  4. Do the same for all of the other pairs of circles on the mystery card. Be sure to record all of your results in the table.

  5. On the basis of your findings, draw a diagram which shows a possible way the circles on your card could be connected with wires. Use lines to show where the electricity travels.

  6. Suppose your data table for a mystery card looked like the one below. Use the data in table #2 to draw a diagram showing the possible ways the circles could be connected.

    Card #2

  7. Could the following circuit diagram be in card #2?

    Circle your answer below.



  8. Explain how your used the data table to answer questions #6 and #7.


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