Class Circuit Acting

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Class Circuit Acting
Author STOMP
Keywords acting, circuit, electricity, resistors, current, switches, battery, electrons, protons, charge
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will work as a whole to play different parts in a circuit. There will be live presentations of electron flow, and the entire class will need to work together in a circle to make the circuit run.
Lesson Objectives: To teach the role of: wires, protons, electrons, batteries, resistors and switches.
Materials Needed: -Plastic balls (half labeled with a positive sign and the rest labeled with a negative sign)
-Two buckets: one will act as the proton side of the battery, and the other will act as the negative side of the battery.
-Signs that students can wear. Each will be assigned the symbol of either a resistor, switch (open switch on one one side of the sign and closed switch on the other), and a lamp. Students linking hands will serve to be wire.
Preparation and Set Up: Prepare all the proton and electron balls in their buckets. Have signs ready in order to assign roles to students. Before setting up the class in a circle to begin the activity, it is important to go over briefly the different parts of the circuit.
Necessary Background Understand the role of wires, resistors, open switches, and closed switches. Also understand the role of the battery and how electrons are the ones that flow throughout the circuit (use electron flow not conventional current).
Procedure
  1. Introduce all materials: balls with plus signs are protons, balls with negative signs are electrons, one bucket represents the positive terminal of the battery, another bucket represents the negative terminal of the battery, signs will be assigned to different students one by one.
  2. Get students together in a circle with the buckets filled with their respective balls also in the circle.
  3. Explain that the bucket with the protons will not be touched since the electrons will be the ones that move (electron flow).
  4. Explain that the first student will grab a ball from the electron bucket and pass it on the the student next to them.  This first student can grab more balls from the bucket and continue passing as long as all students follow the rule that you can only pass the electron if the next student doesn’t already have one.
  5. That electron will be continued to be passed around the classroom until the last student drops it into the proton bucket.
  6. Explain that all electrons move (current formed) due to attraction to protons, and that is why all the electrons end up in the proton bucket at the end.
  7. Once all electrons are exhausted explain that each student in this circuit acted as wire (wire is a path for electrons to move through).  Also explain that a circuit with only a batter and wire is a short circuit.
  8. Explain why short circuits are dangerous, and therefore circuits need resistors.
  9. Bring all electrons back to the negative terminal bucket to restart the process, this time with a new part.
  10. Introduce the first sign and assign 1 or 2 or 3 students the role of a resistor.
  11. Any student who is the resistor must count 3-5 seconds when the electron reaches them before passing it on to the next student.  This will help illustrate that resistors slow down electrons.
  12.  Restart the circuit and introduce a new sign: the switch.
  13. The switch will have an open switch on one side and a closed switch on the other.  Assign this role to a student.
  14. Start off with the open switch and attempt the activity.  Keep resistor rolls in to keep practicing the role of a resistor.  Once the electron reaches the student acting as the open switch stop the class. Ask the students if the electrons will keep moving or not.  Discuss why.
  15. Restart the circuit again this time with a closed switch.  Ask why switches might be used in a circuit.
  16. Introduce the last sign: the lamp.  When the electrons reach the student acting as a lamp let them recreate what would happen (maybe jump up to show brightness or hold the electron above their head for a moment).
  17. Review the parts of a circuit in one last run through.
Extensions: This activity is a version of an already existing activity. This activity was created because it differed from the existing version. The other version can be found under online references.
Modifications: Bring in signs of different parts: diodes, motors, and fans.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Materials1.pdf
Online Reference(s) http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/2013/11/01/act-out-electricity/
Previous Activity (if applicable) http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/2014/02/12/intro-to-static-electricity-with-balloons/
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/introduction-to-electricity-and-circuits-torres-liebman-pelaez/

Intro to Static Electricity with Balloons

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Intro To Static Eelectricity with Balloons
Author STOMP
Keywords static, electricity, balloon
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will use balloons to attempt to pick up various objects and then discuss as a group why certain objects stuck to the balloon while others did not.
Lesson Objectives: Students at the end of the lesson should understand how electrons are transferred to objects due to friction, and how the addition of electrons affects repulsion and attraction to other objects.
Materials Needed:
  • Balloons
  • plastic balls
  • flour
  • salt
  • string
  • glitter
  • pieces of paper
  • paperclips
  • worksheet for students to keep track of their observations (Provided below).
Preparation and Set Up: Wihle one STOMP fellow prepares the materials for the students, the other fellow can go through a brief introductory lesson (powerpoint attached below).
Necessary Background Students should be given background regarding electricity and static electricity. Some vocabulary that may be helpful include: charge, electrons, protons, attraction, and repulsion.  It is key to explain that only electrons are transferred, and when they are transferred through friction it makes the balloon more negative, thus making other objects attracted to it.  This effect only lasts for a short amount of time since only a few electrons are transferred to the balloon.  Drawing diagrams of more negative and more positive ends of objects helps to explain this.

It might also be helpful to give real life example such as: static shock due to rubbing socks against a carpet.

Procedure
  1. Arrange students into pairs.
  2. Provide students with paper to keep track of their observations (attached below).
  3. Allow students to test their materials.
  4. Discuss with class why some materials can be picked up and others cannot.
  5. Discuss what is physically causing the materials to be attracted to the plastic balloons 
Extensions: Have students experiment with other objects around the classroom.
Reference 1 Worksheet for Testing: http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/StaticEWS.docx
Online Reference(s) Power Point: Static Electricity
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity and Magnitism

Flashlight

ACTIVITY HEADER

Name of Activity Building a Flashlight
Author STOMP
Keywords circuit, electricity, flashlight, build, switch
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students are asked to create a flashlight using previous knowledge about electricity and circuits.
Lesson Objectives: -Introduce students to making circuits with real wires rather than Playdough, as in squishy circuits.
-Explain the importance of a switch (ie being able to open and close a circuit to turn a light or other object on or off)
Materials Needed: -D or 9V batteries
-Electrical wire
-Electrical tape
-Lights
-Toilet paper rolls or other objects that can be used as the flashlight body
-Other items to make the flashlight more user-friendly?
Preparation and Set Up: -Collect materials
-Ensure each group will have two electrical wires, pre-cut and pre-stripped
Necessary Background Students should have been exposed to electricity and circuits previously. They should have explored the importance of circuits and particularly switches in circuits.
Procedure
  1. Divide students into pairs or groups of 3-4.
  2. Distribute materials.
  3. Allow students to try to make their circuit work with little guidance at first.
  4. Encourage students to incorporate a switch into their design and to “package” the circuit such that it can be used as a flashlight.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

Electromagnetism Superheros

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Electromagnetism Superheros
Author STOMP
Keywords electricity, magnetism, final, project, non-lego
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will have two weeks to design and build something to help a superhero rescue all of the paper clips in the city of Boston from an evil supervillain hiding in a cave.
Lesson Objectives: -Incorporate both electricity and magnetism in a final project.
-Encourage students to design while thinking about a client and what he/she will need to accomplish.
Encourage students to be creative and reaffirm that there is no one correct answer.
Materials Needed: For the first week, some materials should be replied. You may then allow students to request certain materials (within reason) if they feel it would help their design for the next and final week.

First Week Materials:
-Batteries
-Wire
-Lightbulbs (both LED and standard small lightbulbs)
-Playdough
-Nails
-Paperclips, for testing
-Assorted materials such as paper, felt, tape, popsicle sticks, etc.

Preparation and Set Up: -Collect supplies.
-Prepare a model of the supervillain in its cave (can be accomplished by a bunch of paperclips within a dark box)
-May consider bringing large pieces of paper in for students to draw their designs.
-Divide students into groups of 2-3.
Necessary Background Students should now have an excellent background on both electricity and magnetism. They should realize that a combination of electricity and magnetism will be needed to successfully complete this activity.
Procedure
  1. Divide students into groups of 2 or 3.
  2. Describe to them the problem that they will have to solve: a supervillain has taken over all of the paperclips in Boston and is now hiding out in a cave! If you were to design someone to help the superhero save the city, what would you design?
  3. Distribute large pieces of paper and encourage students to brainstorm for quite a while. Think about what problems they need to solve and how they will design for a specific person.
  4. Allow students to build a little with the provided materials in week 1 and request materials for week 2.
  5. In week 2, have students complete their designs and demonstrate to the class if they have time.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

Introduction to Magnetism

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Introduction to Magnetism
Author STOMP
Keywords magnetism, electricity, circuits
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will be introduced to the concept of magnetism through a combination of discussion, video, and a short activity.
Lesson Objectives: -Introduce students to the concept of magnetism.
-Ensure students understand how electricity and magnetism are linked.
-Discuss the difference between naturally magnetic materials and electromagnets. Which is more useful to us and why? (Answer: electromagnets are used more often than natural magnets because they are able to be turned on and off.)
-A demonstration can be done using magnets and compasses, to be found in the CEEO. Students can see how the magnetic field of the magnet will influence the compass, which relies on the magnetic field of the Earth to show direction.
Materials Needed: -Compasses
-Magnets
Preparation and Set Up: -Collect enough materials such that students can test their compasses and magnets in pairs.
Necessary Background Students should be given an introduction on magnetism, what it is, how we use it, how it is related to electricity, etc. We found that Bill Nye has a couple of excellent videos on Youtube explaining magnetism and electromagnetism.
Procedure
  1. Provide students with background.
  2. Use BIll Nye or other videos to aid in the lesson portion of this activity (optional).
  3. Allow students to test out the compasses and magnets.
  4. Have students feel the magnets attract and repel when certain poles are facing eachother.
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

Electromagnets

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Electromagnets
Author STOMP
Keywords electricity, magnetism, electromagnets, circuits, magnet
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will be asked to create their own electromagnet, illustrating to them the relationship between electricity and magnetism.
Lesson Objectives: Allow students to use their prior knowledge of electricity and magnetism to create an electromagnet.
Materials Needed: -Nails with iron core, preferably. (Note: Stainless steel nails will probably not work!)
-Wire
-D or 9V batteries
-Electrical tape
-Small paper clips (for testing magnetism)
Preparation and Set Up: -Collect materials
-Cut and strip several feet of electrical wire (~4-5 feet per group)
Necessary Background Students should now have a good understanding of both electricity and magnetism. They should have had an introduction explaining how the two concepts are related.
Procedure
  1. Arrange students into pairs or small groups. If materials are not an issue, pairs would probably be best.
  2. Provide each pair with one D or 9V battery, one strand of wire, one or more nails, and a bit of electrical tape.
  3. Allow students to try to create the electromagnet on their own, although it will be necessary to explain to them why wrapping the wire around the nail will create a magnetic field.
  4. Students will probably struggle, but most of the times the problem is just that they need to wrap more wire around the nail to create a stronger magnetic field.
Online Reference(s) https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Ius-FQM13woiM__0fQl8qatLTfT1iJaCupTqeXCJ9Nw/edit?usp=sharing
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

Squishy Circuits

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Squishy Circuits
Author STOMP
Keywords squishy, circuit, electricity, LED, playdough, non-lego
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 2 Hours Total
Brief Description Squishy circuits allows for students to make a simplified circuit using Playdough as wires.
Lesson Objectives: Students will be introduced to the concept of circuits and attempt to make their own circuit using a power source, conductive wires, and lightbulbs.
Materials Needed: -Playdough
-9V Batteries
-LED Lightbulbs
Preparation and Set Up: -Pack supplies. Ensure that there are extras of everything, in case a battery has died or some of the LEDs are not functioning properly.
-Arrange students in pairs.
-Distribute materials.
Necessary Background Students should be introduced to the concept of circuits as well as the necessary components to each circuit. What are some common circuits that we use every day? It may be helpful also to explain to them the properties of Playdough that would make it useful in a circuit.
Procedure
  1. Arrange students in pairs.
  2. Distribute materials.
  3. Allow students to spend some time trying to get the LEDs to light up themselves, offering guidance only when deemed necessary.
  4. If students are still stumped, it may be time to give hints to them as to why their circuit is not working. The most common issue is that the Playdough wires will be touching. Some groups may not even make two separate wires.
  5. Ensure students understand why their circuit is or is not working by the end of the activity (1-2 weeks, as you see fit).
Online Reference(s) https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1T-p5pOAGi-hcP1cxoq0BkhJe0pQJLhXQcywRkfWAWCQ/edit?usp=sharing
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

Intro to Static Electricity

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Intro to Static Electricity
Author STOMP
Keywords static, electicity
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students use plastic balls and/or balloons to attempt to pick up various objects using static electricity.
Lesson Objectives: Introduce students to the concepts of electricity and static electricity using a combination of discussion and a hands-on activity.
Materials Needed: -Plastic balls and/or balloons (Note: Double-check before entering the classroom that these objects WILL actually pick up materials.)
-Various light items such as scraps of paper, salt, flour, glitter, string, etc.
Necessary Background Students should be given background regarding electricity and static electricity. Some vocabulary that may be helpful include: charge, electron, attract, repel, conductor, and insulator. Students should brainstorm various materials that would be considered either conductors or insulators.
Procedure
  1. Arrange students in pairs or groups, depending on availability of materials.
  2. Provide students with paper to keep track of their observations.
  3. Allow each pair/group to test several types of materials.
  4. Discuss with class why some materials can be picked up and others cannot. Discuss what is physically causing the materials to be attracted to the plastic balls/balloons.
Extensions: If your classroom happens to have a sink, an interesting demonstration could be showing how static electricity will affect a stream of water (it will repel it). You could also mimic this activity with a funnel or some type of vessel with a small hole and a bucket of some kind to catch the water as it falls.
Online Reference(s) https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/19q_4mnZJp3yC-uBRxm3JQvwNopygVbC7tZB5dwTGCoM/edit?usp=sharing
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity & Magnetism

LEGO House

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity LEGO House
Author Emily Taintor
Keywords LEGO, house, building, town, electricity, circuit, light, bulb, constraints, construction, squishy circuits
Subject Non-LEGO, LEGO Building
Grade Level 3, 4, 5
Time 3 Hours Total
Brief Description Students will build LEGO houses that are lit by LED bulbs to certain design constraints.
Lesson Objectives: - Introduce students to LEGO building under design constraints
- Familiarize students with the process of planning and implementing a circuit
Materials Needed: - LEGO Bricks
- LED Bulbs
- Wires (or playdough)
- House bases (for the design constraint)
- Batteries
- Alligator clips
Preparation and Set Up: - Give each group a base, bricks, an LED bulb, and wire (or playdough)
- Explain design constraints
Necessary Background Basic electricity information, LEGO familiarity
Procedure
  1. Distribute materials
  2. Explain design constraints
  3. Students should begin by constructing a LEGO House to whatever design constraints the instructors decide upon. Our class had size and height constraints (had to fit on the small base, had to be big enough for a LEGO man to live in) but they could be any sort of design constraint, service learning-related or otherwise. During the building process the students should be considering how they want to wire the house so that an LED bulb can light the inside of the house from a battery on the outside of the house.
  4. Once the house has been constructed, have the students plan out the circuit that they want to use to light the house. We had the students use just one LED bulb so the circuits were very basic.
  5. Students should wire the house so that the LED bulb lights the inside of the house from a battery on the outside. We used playdough instead of wires to create the circuit to build off of the squishy circuits activity, so they had a lot of flexibility on implementing the actual circuit.
  6. Students should assemble their houses in one big “town” and present their houses to the rest of the class. Students should be able to explain their circuit to the class, as well.
Extensions: - Make the house more realistic (make the light connect to the ceiling or look like a lamp)
- Give more specific design constraints
- Use more than one bulb per house – would create better diversity of solutions
- Have groups of students create ‘neighborhoods’ so that they have to combine their circuits to connect to one communal energy source

Electricity and Magnetism Challenge

Name of Activity Electricity and Magnetism Challenge
Author STOMP
Keywords electricity, magnetism
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level 4, 5, 6, 7
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description (Final Project) Students must complete 3 electricity and magnetism-related challenges to earn their STOMP diplomas
Lesson Objectives: -Give students a series of tasks in which they must work together and use the knowledge gained throughout the STOMP semester to illustrate what they have learned
Materials Needed: -Challenge Papers (attached)
-diploma (optional – reward for completing all challenges)
for individual challenges…
-Static Electricity: balloon, paper
-Circuits: Playdoh, LEDs, 9V battery
-Magnetism: Playdoh
Preparation and Set Up: -Put students in groups (if not already done)
-Print out a copy of each challenge for each group, and fold up the challenges so they cannot be seen
-Place all materials on table for kids to access
Necessary Background None
Procedure 1. Hand out a copy of the first challenge to each group, and countdown to when the challenge can be opened 2. Students complete challenges and come to STOMPer when finished.  If done correctly, group moves onto next challenge 3. When all challenges are completed, kids get their diploma (Note: some groups will finish before others, so its a good idea to have a “bonus challenge” in mind – we had kids build a circuit that has both parallel and series components when they were finished)
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Stomp-Electricity-and-Magnetism.docx
Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable) Electricity and Magnetism

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