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Simple Circuits Challenge

By Teacher Librarian Colleen Graves

Appropriate for grade levels 4th to 8th

Simple Circuit: To complete a simple circuit, you must create a loop for the electrons to flow. So you need to get power from your power source to the LED and back to the power source. If you build a successful current, your light will shine! In this lab, you will create your own simple circuits with Makey Makey and once you've mastered that, you'll move on to parallel circuits. Lastly, you'll create your own DIY switch with Makey Makey!

Lesson Objectives

  • Introduce the TMI Design process from Invent to Learn - Think Make Improve
  • Complete Circuit Challenges
  • Create simple circuits with LEDs and Makey Makey
  • Create switches with playdoh, paper clips, pennies, and other conductive resources
  • Engage students in simple electronics
  • Entice students to create with technology rather than just consume it

Lesson Materials

  • Makey Makey for each student or partner groups
  • Alligator Clips
  • Prepared Telephone wires (tutorial below)
  • Tinfoil
  • Playdoh
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Strawberries or other conductive fruits
  • Small conductive items for switches: Copper brads, Paperclips, pennies, etc
Step1.jpg Step2.jpg Step3.jpg
1. Clip jack 2. Carefully cut outer casing 3. Don't cut colorful wires
Step4.jpg Step5.jpg Step6better.jpg
4. Pull off the outer casing 5. Each wire has two usable wires twisted together. 6. Use Wire stripper to expose copper
Step7.jpg Step8.jpg Step9.jpg
7. Twist ends 8. Push into Makey Makey 9. Or wrap and twist
telephonewiretutorial.gif

Lesson Steps

Note: You will facilitate this like a Science lab.

DAY 1: Simple Circuit Challenges

Below are card with pics for teacher use- Please give students the student challenge cards.

Challenge 1: Simple Circuit:
Can you figure out where to plug in the LED on the Makey Makey and complete a circuit by touching playdoh? (Remember that LEDs have a short leg to indicate the negative side. You need to create a loop for the current to flow!)

Challenge 2:
Can you use people to complete the circuit? Can you add people and the LED still light up? How many people can be in your chain and still complete the circuit?

2015-04-16 10.10.16.jpg

Challenge 3:
Create a Makey Makey keyboard with tinfoil and popsicle sticks. (Hint you will need to create your own piano with Soundplant application or find a piano on Scratch that uses WASDF keys)

Challenge 4:
Can you create human piano keys? Can play the piano by playing your friends?

human piano1.jpg
human piano2.jpg

Building a Switch and Parallel Circuits

Challenge 5:
Building a Switch: Can you make a switch with Playdoh that will still light up your LED on the MM without using yourself or another person as a ground.  (Hint: You will need two alligator clips to Earth.)

2015-04-11 13.35.26.jpg

Challenge 6:
Parallel Circuit: How can you create a parallel circuit that will successfully light up a second LED?

Challenge 7:
Parallel Circuit: How many LEDs can you power? What ports on MM will allow you to power LEDs? (Hint: Earth is your ground!)

Challenge 8:
Building a Switch: What other materials can you use to build your own switch?

switch.jpg

Student Makey Makey Challenge Cards

Simple Circuit: To complete a simple circuit, you must create a loop for the electrons to flow.  So you need to get power from your power source to the LED and back to the power source. If you build a successful current, your light will shine! In this lab, you will create your own simple circuits with Makey Makey and once you've mastered that, you'll move on to parallel circuits. Lastly, you'll create your own DIY switch with Makey Makey!

Challenge 1:

Simple Circuit: Can you figure out where to plug in the LED on the Makey Makey and complete a circuit by touching playdoh? (Remember that LEDs have a short leg to indicate the negative side. You need to create a loop for the current to flow!)

Simple Circuit Challenge 1

Challenge 2:

Can you use people to complete the circuit? Can you add people and the LED still light up? How many people can be in your chain and still complete the circuit?

Simple Circuit Challenge 2

Challenge 3:

Create a Makey Makey keyboard with tinfoil and popsicle sticks. (Hint you will need to create your own piano with Soundplant application or find a piano on Scratch that uses WASDF keys)

Simple Circuit Challenge 3

Challenge 4:

Can you create human piano keys? Can play the piano by playing your friends?

Simple Circuit Challenge 4

Challenge 5:

Building a Switch: Can you make a switch with Playdoh that will still light up your LED on the MM without using yourself or another person as a ground?  (Hint: You will need two alligator clips to Earth.)

Building on Simple Circuits Challenge 5

Challenge 6:

Parallel Circuit: How can you create a parallel circuit that will successfully light up a second LED? (Hint: Where is your LED getting output from?)

Building on Simple Circuits Challenge 6

Challenge 7:

Parallel Circuit: How many LEDs can you power? What ports on MM will allow you to power LEDs? (Hint: Earth is your ground/Attach your LED negative led to earth!)

Building on Simple Circuits Challenge 7

Challenge 8:

Building a Switch: What other materials can you use to build your own switch? What materials work? What won't work? Why?

Building on Simple Circuits Challenge 8

Standards

Note on Standards: These lessons were developed with the idea that teachers all over the globe and a variety of grade levels could hack the lesson plan to meet their students’ needs. These are just some of the standards the lessons are based on, and not an all-inclusive list. Many of the NGSS align by grade level, so if you teach 9th grade, you could find the stair-stepped standard by looking at the HS NGSS standards.

NGSS

3-PS2-3: Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.

4-PS3-2: Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

4-PS3-4: Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.*

HS-PS3-3: Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

* The performance expectations marked with an asterisk integrate traditional science content with engineering through a Practice or Disciplinary Core Idea.






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