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Summer SAVY, Session 3 Day 3, Circuitry, System, and Design (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Alternate and direct currents, research, switches, oh my! There was so much learning happening today! We began the day simulating alternate and direct currents by sitting in a circle and passing marbles. Direct currents were modeled by passing our marbles in the same direction and alternate currents were modeled by occasionally changing the direction that our marbles were passed. Then, answered the questions:
  • Why would a power system be less effective without alternating currents?
  • Imagine you had double the number of marbles to handle. Would it be easier or harder to pass? Why?
  • Do the electrons need to “go” anywhere to produce power?
Students answered the questions by quietly walking around the room, sharing their thinking on the paper, and responding to the ideas of their classmates. Ask your student what direct and alternate currents are. They might have a demonstration to go with it!
Students continued to act as researchers to become experts on a given topic. The questions students researched include:
  • What is the science of electricity?
  • Besides batteries, where can electricity be found?
  • How is electricity made?
  • How are magnets like electricity?
  • What does an electrician do? Tell us about some famous people who worked with electricity!
Students used symbols, illustrations, phrases, and quotations to create a visual to share with their classmates. Tomorrow morning, they will continue to work on their posters and then share their findings with the class.
In the afternoon, students built on their understanding of circuits and began to construct their own circuits that had switches. First, students tinkered with a provided switch and began to make conjectures about how switches work. Then, students were tasked with creating circuits that had 2 batteries, 2 bulbs, and one switch. One group made it to 5 batteries and 4 bulbs! The essential questions of this exploration were:
  • What is the function of a switch in an electrical circuit?
  • How will I know what will make a good switch?
We had a very busy day answering many questions about electricity! You can continue their learning at home by asking your student how their switch worked.  Do we have materials at home to make our own circuits and switches?
*Two great resources to check out if you are interested in creating circuits at home are:
  • Squishy Circuits by Kristen Fontichiaro and AnnMarie P. Thomas
  • Connect It! Circuits You Can Squish, Bend, and Twist by Elsie Olson

We look forward to another fun day of learning tomorrow!