This is a 2 week low safety risk, high engagement, creative, design, build, inquiry-based and presentation activity that involves students in developing a thorough understanding of current electricity and how to apply that to electrical circuits in a meaningful and fun way.
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Thanks for the ideas Otto!
This is the third part of a series of blogs written to suggest teaching methodology for the topic “Electricity”. Brief descriptions of Parts One and Two have been included below.
Part One: Models: In the picture below, soup cans are used to represent students. Actual students formed in a circle will pass and receive playing cards (electrons). Students pass the cards on command, when the teacher says “PASS”. A potential boost occurs at the battery, a potential drop at the light bulb. Students are assigned roles at a switch, a load, or a battery. At a load, the student can be asked to twirl at each pass to simulate work being done.
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Thanks for sharing Dave!
This is a fun and challenging inquiry activity in which students construct circuits with specific requirements.
This activity is part of STAO’s Connex series on scientific inquiry.
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The Focus on Inquiry:
This guided inquiry project was designed to provide students with the challenge of creating a fully-electric car. The students were provided with a motor, photographs of sample electric cars, an outline of the criteria their car was to meet, and a rubric as a marking scheme.
The Inquiry Project:
The project was discussed and proposed at the beginning of the physics unit of study in grade 9 applied science.
Students were tasked with completing three main components:
I. A Thought Book
This is where the students formulated questions, made hypotheses, and made predictions about their project prior to beginning construction of their electric car. The Thought Book took the form of pre-formatted Google Slides that the students shared with the teacher and the rest of their peers. The students completed different ‘pages’ of the Thought Book as they progressed through different stages of the inquiry project. They also used the Though Book to gather, organize and record information during their ‘build days’.
II. A schematic of their circuit
This is where the students communicated their understanding of how electricity moves through their circuit. Students were asked to communicate their results in appropriate key terms (ie. source, load, conductor, insulator, switch).
III. Reflection questions
These questions were designed to have students reflect on their learning, analyze their outcomes, describe their challenges and how they surmounted them.
This activity is part of STAO’s Connex series. For more details about this activity, including all you need to use it in your classroom go to the STAO Connex page…
In this demo, two circuits are constructed to enable comparison of the brightness of a light bulb placed in a circuit with one cell and the brightness of the same light bulb in a circuit with three cells connected in parallel. In Next Steps the potential differences of the two circuits are also compared.
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