When I was in middle school, my friends and I use cable lugs in our science project.
We were demonstrating the difference between a parallel and direct circuit, with a batteries and small lightbulbs. We had copper cable lugs that connected the wires to the bulbs. It's a great project for anyone who's child wants something fun and effective.
I never knew there was any difference between a cable and wire, either. I'll have to make sure I keep those straight from now on.