|Name of Activity||Building a Flashlight|
|Keywords||circuit, electricity, flashlight, build, switch|
|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
-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.|
|Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)||Electricity & Magnetism|
|Name of Activity||Act Out Electricity!|
|Keywords||electricity, interactive, act out, non-lego, 4-6, introduction to electricity, resistor, lamp, bulb, wire, battery, switch, 1 Hour Total|
|Grade Level||4, 5, 6|
|Time||1 Hour Total|
|Brief Description||Students are assigned to be a circuit element and act it out in a complete circuit.|
|Lesson Objectives:||- Solidify the students’ understanding of electricity.
- Give the students a physical understanding of what different circuit elements do.
|Materials Needed:||- Attached materials.|
|Preparation and Set Up:||- Split the students into small groups.
- Give each group a set of materials.
- Give each group a goal for their circuit so that they can set it up and act it out to show the rest of the class.
|Necessary Background||- Electricity terms:
– Lamp (Light Bulb)
|Extensions:||Add in more complex circuit elements, programming, or use of breadboards.|
|Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)||Introduction to Electricity|
|Name of Activity||NXT Trolly|
|Keywords||NXTs, cars, car, trolly, trollies, light sensor, loop, proximity sensor, sound sensor, threshold, switch|
|Grade Level||4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9+|
|Time||2 Hours Total|
|Brief Description||Students program their NXT cars to be trollies. The activity has three tasks.
(1) Using a light sensor, the trolly must follow the black tape loop that runs through the “town”
(2) Using a proximity sensor, the trolly must detect stations and stop for boarding.
(3) Using a sound sensor, the trolly must stop for townspeople whistling for the trolly.
|Lesson Objectives:||Programming with conditional loops and switches.
Determining and implementing multiple sensor thresholds.
|Materials Needed:||Pre-built NXT car and complete NXT kit.
Computers with Mindstorms NXT software.
Black tape for trolly track.
Boxes/Books/etc for trolly stations.
Extra LEGO people.
|Preparation and Set Up:||Set up a the trolly track with black tape in the classroom.
Place the trolly stations either all inside or all outside of the loop. (This is so the proximity sensor can be pointed to the right or left).
|Necessary Background||In order to follow a line, students will have to program their cars to repeatedly jump off and back on the line. In fact, they aren’t following the black line, but rather the line formed by the edge of the black tape and white floor. Students programs should consist of four blocks:
- Turn Right.
- Wait for Darker.
- Turn Left.
- Wait for Lighter.
Students will need to use a conditional loop or a switch to stop following the line at the station. A conditional loop will keep performing the line following functions until the distance threshold is breached. It will then move on to the next bit of code. A switch will make a decision about the program flow based on a sensor value.
Switch – A program structure that makes a decision about which line of code to run next based on some criterion (time, sensor value, logic etc)
|Procedure||Introduction 10 minutes Review loops with the students and why they are useful in programs.
Sometimes loops should go on forever. Ask the students for examples they’ve done where loops go on forever. In more sophisticated programs, they should not. Ask if they can think of a situation in which you don’t want a program to go on forever. A conditional loop is a great way to end a loop exactly when you want it to end and move on to another task. Our brains use conditional loops all the time!
Activity – 40 minutes If students haven’t done a line follower before, introduce the concepts using the line follower activity on the activities database. For the second task, students will have to use a conditional loop to look for the stations. After the loop, they should stop the car for 5 seconds. It’s important to note that you must drive past the station before you start looking for a new station. Therefore, there should be a loop with a counter on it, or another conditional loop to follow the line past the station before looking for the next one. For the third task, the students will have to use switches. First look at one of the sensors, say the sound sensor. If it detects a whistle, stop for five seconds, if not, look at the proximity sensor. If it detects a station, stop for five seconds. If not, continue following the line. Clean up/ Wrap up – 10 minutes
|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.