PH.3 The student will investigate and demonstrate an understanding of the nature of science, scientific reasoning and logic.
PH.11 The student will investigate and understand how to diagram, construct, and analyze basic electrical circuits and explain the function of various circuit components. Key concepts include:
a) Ohm’s law; b) series, parallel, and combined circuits
Student create a tool to be used to investigate simple, mystery, circuits.
- A string of 20 Christmas light bulbs that plug into a 120 V outlet
- A string of 50 or 100 Christmas light bulbs that plus into a 120 V outlet.
- 7 or more small jewelry boxes or 35 mm film canisters, or something similar that is light tight. You could use toilet paper tubes with the ends closed off.
- 1 “N” size alkaline battery
- 2 “AA,” alkaline, batteries. (At least 2 per student group.)
Warn student what a short is how quickly the wire gets hot enough to burn. Also describe to the students that if it gets hot, LET GO! It amazes me how many students want to hold on to a hot wire.
Before doing this activity, I like to do an introductory activity similar to http://vip.vast.org/NSTA/circuit/default.htm
In a previous activity student divided light bulb up based up brightness and learned about what a diode does to the current in a circuit. They are again provided with those same pieces but it is up to the student to choose what they want. Below are the suggested contents for the boxes.