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/

Super Sparker Static Electricity

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Super Sparker Static Electricity
Author Andrea Dwyer
Keywords household materials, lightning, static electricity, electrons, protons, thunder
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students use household materials to create an electric current similar to lightning.

This is a static electricity activity based two versions I found online: one was
an entry by Ramona Gravesande that was previously in the activities database
and the other the website http://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/sparker.html.
I combined the instructions in those two activities to create an activity that works more effectively.For older students, you may want to combine this activity with another electricity activity, such as creating electromagnets.

Lesson Objectives: To teach students how lightning forms and why it strikes.
Materials Needed: - Styrofoam plates.
- Tape.
- Aluminum pie pans.
- A pencil with eraser.
- Pieces of wool fabric.
Preparation and Set Up: - Gather necessary materials.
- Arrange students into groups of 2-4.
- Distribute necessary materials.
Necessary Background Lightening occurs when a connection is made from electrons in the bottom
of a cloud to protons in the ground. Electrons in the bottom of the cloud are
attracted to the protons in the ground. When the connection is made the protons
rush to meet the electron and that is when you see lightening. A bolt of lightning
heats the air along its path casing it to expand rapidly. Thunder is the sound
caused by this rapid expanding air.

Vocabulary:
lightning
electrons
protons
lightning
thunder

Procedure 1.    Tape the pencil onto the center of the pie plate with the eraser touching the pie plate so that the pencil becomes a handle.                              

2.    Rub the underside of the Styrofoam plate on your hair or the wool for one minute. Rub fast.

3.  Use the handle to pick up the pie tin. Hold it   about a foot over the Styrofoam plate and drop it.                      

4.    Now–very slowly–touch the tip of your finger to the pie tin. Wow! What a spark! (Be careful. DON’T touch the Styrofoam plate. If you do, you won’t get a spark.)

5.    Use the handle to pick up the pie tin again. When the tin is in the air, touch the tin with the tip of your finger. Wow! You get another great spark.

6.    Drop the pie tin onto the Styrofoam tray again. Touch the pie tin. Another spark! Use the handle to pick up the pie tin. More sparks!

7.    You can do this over and over for a long time. If the pie tin stops giving you a spark, just rub the Styrofoam tray on your head again, and start over.

8.    Try using your Super Sparker in the dark. Can you see the tiny lightning bolts you make? What color are they?

Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lightning.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Super-Sparker-Explanation.doc
Reference 3 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Super-Sparker-Making-Lightning-Activity.doc

Making Lightning

ACTIVITY HEADER

 

 

 

Name of Activity Making Lightning
Author Ramona Gravesande
Keywords found materials, electricity, current, lightning, electrons, protons, thunder
Subject Non-LEGO
Grade Level K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Brief Description Students will use household materials to create an electric current similar to lightning.
Lesson Objectives: To teach students how lightning forms and why it strikes.
Materials Needed: Aluminum pie pans
Styrofoam plates
Wool cloth
Pencils
Thumbtacks
Preparation and Set Up: Gather necessary materials.
Arrange student into groups of 2 – 4.
Distribute necessary materials.
Necessary Background Lightening occurs when a connection is made from electrons in the bottom of a cloud to protons in the ground. Electrons in the bottom of the cloud are attracted to the protons in the ground. When the connection is made the protons rush to meet the electron and that is when you see lightening. A bolt of lightening heats the air along its path casing it to expand rapidly. Thunder is the sound caused by this rapid expanding air.

Vocabulary:
lightning
electrons
protons
lightning
thunder

Procedure
  1. Push a thumbtack through the bottom center of an aluminum pie pan.
  2. Push the eraser of a pencil through the thumbtack to make a handle to lift the pan.
  3. Take a styrofoam plate and rub the underside with wool  for one minute, rubbing hard and fast.
  4. Pick up the pie pan with the pencil.an dplace it on top of the upside-down styrofoam plate again.
  5. If students do not feel anything they should rub the styrofoam plate again and touch the pie pan with the lights out and see what happens.
Reference 1 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/Lightening.pdf
Reference 2 http://sites.tufts.edu/stompactivitydatabase/files/formidable/lightening.doc

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