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Summer SAVY Session 6, Day 2, Electrical Engineering

Posted by on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

So many amazing discussions and discoveries today!  I trust your child is furthering their understandings by talking and researching with you at home.  


We began by finalizing our new understandings of the scavenger hunt of the classroom from yesterday.  We worked to find all the electrical devices built into our space: outlets, switches, lights, technology ports, security, and safety, etc.  We will soon observe structural blueprints and industry standards for diagrams and symbols in regard to home electrical wiring as a follow up.  How can we use our knowledge of scale and proportion to create drawings and use symbols to observe electrical systems with greater detail and accuracy?  How will we apply today’s learning to our culminating project?  We will observe a street map of a coastal city to begin thinking about the scale of our culminating project. What should be the scale of our 2D model grid drawings? Can others read and make sense of such symbols and models if they are common or standardized?  We will include generation plants, transmission lines and towers, as well as substations that adjust the voltage for distribution. 

For the rest of the day, we worked in five small groups and rotated to different learning stations which will complete first thing tomorrow. Students worked together to find answers to many questions we had recorded in our learning. This was extremely challenging, hands-on work and we were all proud of the efforts and successes! How does electricity work? What materials are conductive and what materials act as an insulator? Who were some of the pioneers that worked with electricity, and how did they experiment to answer their own questions about electric?  How are circuits created and organized?  What is a parallel circuit? Can I predict from a scale model drawing if a circuit is complete and will be productive in achieving specific results?  

Tomorrow, we will also continue our historical journey by learning more about Edison and his expansion of direct current in the northeast and Nikola Tesla’s competing alternating current so spectacularly made famous at the Chicago World’s Fair.  We will learn more about power generation and delivery systems on Wednesday.  We are also beginning to dig into systems failures with the historical outage in August of 2003 in Ontario, Canada and the Northeast region of American.  We will continue our questioning.  How did this system function before the outage and what went wrong?  How can this be prevented in current or future grid designs?  When addressing access to services, how can we determine equity?  What are the issues and concerns for different stakeholders?  


Here are some links that may be of interest to your family:  Map of Electrical Engineering Curriculum, Curiosity Crew: Batteries, and Mountain Climbing Techniques. After tomorrow, I trust your child will be able to explain the metaphor connected to electrical grids in that last video link.  It’s ok to preview this idea with your child in advance of lesson tomorrow.