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Name of Activity

Tiny Homes – Continue Circuit Building

Author

STOMP

Keywords

tiny homes, sustainability, electricity, circuits, snap circuits, building, design

Subject

Building/EDP, Electricity & Magnetism

Grade Level

5, 6, 7

Time

1 Hour

Brief Description

Introduce snap circuit kits. Teach parallel and series circuits and have students practice with the snap circuits.

Learning Goals:

Students will work in groups to further their understanding of circuits with the snap circuit kits. Students will see firsthand the effects of using parallel and series circuits.

Materials:

snap circuit kits

Preparation:

Put students in groups of 3-4 (doesn’t have to be the same group as for tiny homes), snap circuit kit for each group (each kit should have batteries, a light, a fan, a switch and enough connectors)

Knowledge Background

Teacher should have the students in groups when you arrive, ideally teacher has some knowledge of electricity and renewable energy

Procedure

  1. Recap what students learned the week before with squishy circuits.
    1. Discuss the concepts of open and closed circuits, electron flow, positive and negative charges.
  2. Teach parallel and series circuits. This can be done by drawing the circuits on the board and having students explain or act out where the electrons will go.
    1. Show how if a light goes out (or the circuit breaks) in a series circuit the whole circuit will go down, but in a parallel circuit the other components will be OK.
    2. Demo how a switch works by turning the classroom lights on and off
  3. Hand out snap circuit kits.
  4. Give students about half of the remaining time to play and familiarize themselves with the kits.
  5. When all of the groups are reasonably comfortable with the kits give them small challenges. For instance ask them to change what they’ve built from a parallel to series circuit or vice versa.
    1. Take a break to explain how parallel circuits are more robust if a component burns out. One way to do this is by drawing a parallel circuit on the board and have them explain what happens when you erase different parts of it.
  6. As you wrap up tell students to start thinking about how to implement circuits in their tiny homes.

Previous Activity (if applicable)

Squishy Circuits

Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Tiny Homes and Energy Resources

Name of Activity

Tiny Homes- Environmental Conditions and Structural Stability

Author

STOMP

Keywords

tiny homes, sustainability, materials, properties, shoebox, planning, building, stability, flexibility

Subject

Building/EDP

Grade Level

4, 5, 6, 7

Time

1 Hour

Brief Description

Students will continue working on their tiny homes by learning and applying concepts related to structural stability. Students think critically about the conditions their home has to stand up to and how they as engineers should plan and build accordingly.

Learning Goals:

Students will practice planning and working in groups. Students will gain understanding of material properties and structural stability and apply these concepts by building on to their tiny homes.

Materials:

popsicle sticks, cardboard, scissors, cotton balls, masking tape, glue gun

Preparation:

If possible have the students already in their building groups when you get there.

Knowledge Background

The teacher should have grouped the students into groups that work well together. Ideally the teacher should have some familiarity with stability and flexibility.

Procedure

  1. Recap the planning and building that students have already done on their tiny homes.
  2. Talk about how buildings need to be structurally sound to stand up to their environments.
  3. Show pictures of some structurally cool buildings (e.g. really tall, made of bamboo, lots of triangles).
  4. Introduce the terms stability and flexibility. Go over what it means for a building to be structurally sound.
  5. Before handing out materials, ask groups to plan how they want to make their homes better structurally. They should consider what part of the world they chose for their tiny home and what environmental factors exist there.
  6. Give the students access to the materials and leave them plenty of time for building.
  7. Take a break halfway through for groups to share what ideas they’ve had and what they’ve implemented so far.
  8. When a group is happy with the materials they’ve taped on use the glue gun to finalize their design.

Previous Activity (if applicable)

Tiny Homes – Temperature Control

Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Tiny Homes and Energy Resources

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