|Name of Activity||Wire Maze Challenge|
|Keywords||Electrical Engineering, maze, loop, wire, current, switch, open circuit, closed circuit|
|Grade Level||4, 5, 6|
|Time||1 Hour Total|
|Brief Description||Students will be constructing a game made out of a simple circuit with a movable loop of wire that can be guided over a curved “maze” wire. The object of the game will be to guide the loop along the maze without touching the loop to the maze wire. If the student does touch the loop to the wire, the circuit will be complete, turning on the light bulb, and signaling the touch.|
|Lesson Objectives:||- To teach students about electrical circuits.
- To teach students about electrical currents.
|Materials Needed:||Per Group:
- One 9V battery w/connection plate and attached wires.
- 24 inches of un-insulated wire (stripped insulated wire between 20 – 24 AWG should work).
- One 1-Watt light bulb w/ lamp base.
- One 24 inch length of insulated wire w/stripped ends.
- One 8 inch length insulated wire w/stripped ends.
- Electrical tape.
- Cardboard base (optional).
- Four alligator clips (optional).
- Popsicle stick or pencil.
|Preparation and Set Up:||- Show the first five slides of Powerpoint attached.
- Break the class into groups of two.
- Distribute worksheets and building materials.
|Extensions or Modifications:||If you finish with the wire maze with extra time remaining, try to figure out a way to add an additional loop to the maze. There are two different ways to wire this circuit – you can either have the light bulb turn on when either one of the loops touches the wire, or you can have it turn on only when both loops are touching the wire. Draw your new circuit below using the electrical engineering symbols on the previous page.
The diagrams below are two possible approaches to this extension.