With DISTANCE LEARNING I wasn’t able to do the hands-on electrical circuits lab with my wonderful 8th graders so I had to come up with another way for them to learn the basics. A web search brought me to this really cool VIRTUAL circuit builder that does NOT use Flash – which is awesome because Flash is no longer supported by Chrome.
Here’s a brief video of how this Phet interactive works.
easy to learn how to use
can build series and parallel circuits
there are a few different components to experiment with such as the light bulb, resistor and switch
can experiment with how adding and subtracting components affects resistance.
multiples of all of the components can be added, such as adding two batteries to increase voltage
the anmeter is fun to play with!
you can view the parts of the circuits in symbols to practice with engineering pictograms
There are no particular directions so if you want to be sure your students really learn what you want you’ll need to come up directions for them.
Don’t have time to design an activity? No sweat – use mine!
My worksheet guides students in constructing series and parallel circuits using the Phet interactive. No prep required – just have students watch the video above so they know how to attach/detach components.
I’ve recently turned two more of my lab activities into products available to other teachers through my TpT store.
Activity: Predict, Measure, Graph and Analyze with Tasty Candy!
I use this activity with my 6th graders as they are learning to make quantitative observations, but I think it’s useful for 7th-9th as well.
Students enjoy getting to eat the candy after they make their measurements. Skills practiced are making a bar graph, calculating averages and percentages and comparing their data to the data of other students.
My 6th graders come to me without much experience with measuring and evaluating quantitative data. Math is not applied to scientific thinking in the lower grades unfortunately! While I think they would benefit from quantitative thinking in science in 4th/5th grade, I am happy to introduce them to the world of data!
With DISTANCE LEARNING I wasn’t able to do the electrical circuits lab with my wonderful 8th graders so I created a worksheet in Google doc to guide them through constructing circuits, digitally, using a free online circuit builder!
This activity allows students to experiment with the basics of circuitry, virtually. It works great when distance learning (Google doc worksheet) is necessary or as an introductory activity to a hands-on circuitry lab.