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Summer SAVY, Session 3 Day 1, Circuitry, Systems, and Design: Electrical Engineering (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Sunday, June 23, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

It was a great day getting started with Electrical Engineering! Students began the day by answering silly questions, getting to know one another, and building community through collaboration challenges. Their first challenge of the day was to fit their group members through a piece of paper! The challenge was followed by the task to fit through a notecard; we haven’t made it through, yet! Ask your engineer how they approached this problem!

They then began tinkering with batteries, wires, and light bulbs to “make a thing” that lights up, and their creations were embellished using googly eyes, feathers, Play-Doh, and so much more! Students drew diagrams of what they intended to make and shared their thinking with each other. After hearing the ideas of their peers, they changed their designs and plans building on what they learned from one another. 

Following planning for the open-ended challenge, students dove into system concepts and models. Students learned the vocabulary: boundaries, elements, inputs. Then, they used the vocabulary to describe various systems thinking about how each part interacted.  

At the end of the day, students brought their drawings to life and made them light up. They moved from simply putting the battery and bulb together to using wires to connect the materials. This is meant for students to begin thinking about the parts of a circuit- something we will explicitly learn tomorrow. Ask your engineer what they learned through this activity!

Tonight, they will be very excited to share about their “make a thing!” We ended the day in a meeting discussing roadblocks and breakthroughs from the challenge. I encourage you to ask them what was challenging, how they had breakthroughs, and how it felt to accomplish lighting up the bulb.  

Tomorrow, students will have another chance to create a simple circuit by creating a name tag that lights up. We will then move into stations to explore more circuits and learn more about electricity. We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!