Muscle Wire


What is the theme or topic to be presented?

Using muscle wire to mimic the action of applying electrical current to the severed legs of a frog by creating a circuit that moves a paper creation.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

Create a circuit using muscle wire that simulates the movement created when an electrical impulse is sent through the muscles of a living thing.

Biology Standards, Year 11:

4.6 Carry out experiment on the impact of electric power to contraction in frog’s

femur muscles to explain the process of muscle contraction in human*

Key Vocabulary:

• Circuit

• Conductor

• Insulator

• Battery

• Nervous system

• Electricity

• Electrical muscle stimulation

Ideas for Building Materials: (per student)

• 1 sheet of paper

• 40 cm of 0.006 in. HT Flexinol wire (a type of nitinol wire that contracts

when heated)

• 2 crimp beads

• 1 9V battery

• 1 9V snap battery holder

• 15 cm of . in. copper foil tape

• thin wire (such as 29 AWG 392° F High-Flex Miniature Wire)

• scotch tape

• solder

• thread


• scissors

• wire strippers or pliers

• soldering iron

• needle


This lesson requires basic understanding of circuits. If you have not reviewed circuits with your students please do so before beginning the lesson. The papercircuits activity found here is a great place to start:

usaidnyscilesson9_musclewire_56d0b0d491985USAID NYSCI Lesson 9_ Muscle Wire .pdfapplication/pdf291.43 KB

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