ACTIVITY HEADER

Name of Activity Snap Circuits Intro
Author STOMP
Keywords electrical engineering, circuits
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Activity involves building series and parallel circuits with LED’s, resistors, and switches
Lesson Objectives: To introduce students to the Snap Circuit Kits
Materials Needed: Snap Circuit Kits
Preparation and Set Up: Make copies of worksheets

arrange students in pairs

Distribute Kits and

Necessary Background Parallel

Series

Resistors

LED’s

Switch

conductor

inductor

Procedure 1. Discuss and introduce the vocabulary 2. have the students design any circuit they want (multiple LED’s in series/parallel) on a worksheet, 3. have them predict what will happen 4. build and write observations
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4 Responses to Snap Circuits

  1. We ended up doing this activity for two weeks since students loved it so much! We were in a fifth grade classroom in Argenziano.
    The first day was about experimentation. Students focused on building circuits and becoming familiar with the different elements involved. We once again noted the positive/negative ends of the battery and how this is relevant in a circuit. Students added lots of branches and elements, and we asked them to problem solve when certain lights or circuits elements didn’t work.
    The second day was our introduction of series and parallel circuits. We talked about how the circuits should work and had students draw out series and parallel before creating the circuits. We had them focus on how the brightness of two lights in series or in parallel. This lead to a discussion about current and energy, and students were then able to anticipate how light brightness, representative of current flow, changes based on the arrangement of elements relative to each other.

  2. My partner and I, Mariana, did this activity for two weeks instead of continuing our original plan with squishy circuits. Our forth grade class found squishy circuits to be messy, and difficult to build with by looking at circuit diagrams. Snap Circuits was really useful for teaching the parts of a circuit as well as circuit diagrams. Snap circuits have the name of the parts written on each part, as well as their symbol, and all the parts are blocky.

    We had introduced wires, batteries, lamps, resistors, and motors in our previous lesson so this lesson was open to let the students explore with the parts. We had some pre-made circuits that we wanted them to build, but when they were done with those they were free to build what they wished and ask us questions as to why their circuits worked/didn’t work.

  3. We did this activity after “Act out Electricity!” so we started out by having the class build the same circuit we had acted out the week before. Then we let them experiment with the kits, directing them a little bit by having them explore what the diode and the press switch did. We finished by having them share their observations and takeaways. It was really important to have extra parts and batteries because we had to switch out parts for several students.

  4. We did this as our Electrical Engineering activity in a Types of Engineering curriculum, and the kids loved it! Even though they hadn’t done circuits in lessons past, they were able to put together series and parallel with very little help, and loved adding extra lights and fans to their circuit designs.

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