Just think of all the ways in which electrical energy is transformed in your life each day. Electrical engineers have truly impacted the way in which electricity is used, including helping to solve problems involved with electricity!
To culminate our unit on electrical engineering, third graders have created models of their switches when in the ON and OFF position. Check out some of their amazing models!!!
With limited materials (note cards, brass fasteners, aluminum foil, and paper clips), third graders are putting all their electrical engineering knowledge together in designing their own switches.
They're digging deep into the engineering design process one design after the next. Is one switch "better" than another? Does it use less materials? Is it more accurate? Is it challenging to operate?
The possibilities are ENDLESS! Way to go third grade!!!
Third graders have had chances to build and test series and parallel circuits. Engineers are always evaluating their work, which is exactly why third graders determined benefits and drawbacks of each type of circuit.
As we dig deeper into circuitry, third graders have quickly discovered the drawbacks of series circuits. Every time a bulb is added to the circuit, the energy must be split between all the bulbs, making their lights dimmer. When we untwist a bulb, we see how all the bulbs go out as we create a gap in the circuit. Sometimes we need bright light, and when one person shuts out the lights in their room, we may not want the lights out in ours. The solution...another type of circuit!
Using parallel lines in famous quadrilaterals, third graders began to see the connections between infamous shapes like squares, rectangles, and trapezoids to set up their parallel circuits. The good news? Parallel circuits create more than one path for the electricity to follow, and when one bulb is removed, the other stays lit! How amazing!
Now that we know what insulators and conductors are, third graders developed game cards with questions, a correct answer, and incorrect answers. Using their new found knowledge, they continued to gather evidence to support how insulators and conductors work in circuitry. How amazing!
Which materials are conductors? Which materials are insulators? Third graders are testing a wide variety of materials to see which materials allow electricity to pass through them (conductors) and which do not (insulators). They are using evidence from their tests to determine which materials are insulators and those that are conductors.
Here a third grader wanted to test if Mrs. Brinza's earrings were electrical conductors. The evidence that they were??? The light bulb in the circuit lit up!
A path for the electricity to flow...check!
A battery to provide energy...check!
A load to receive and transform the energy...check!
Creating the circuit and getting it to transform electricity to light for the first time...PRICELESS!
Here 3rd graders are creating and testing circuits. While they explore the basic set-up for a simple circuit, they will become circuitry experts before designing their own switches to turn the circuits on and off. Why transform energy when we don't need to?
They will explore materials that are conductors and insulators, different arrangements of the pathways in a circuit (series and parallel), and different transformations of energy by using light bulbs, buzzers, and motors (light, sound, and mechanical energy).
With all the technology in our lives, much, but not all of it, transforms electricity into other forms of energy. From our toasters to our cell phones, electricity can be transformed into thermal, light, sound, and mechanical energy. Third graders sorted technologies based on their transformations of electrical energy.
Like many of our third graders, Emily is not alone in "forgetting" to do her chores! Out on her family's Australian station, she would rather be out riding her horse, Flash than filling up the sheep's water trough. But one day, the trough runs dry and Emily gets in trouble! There will be no more riding Flash until she shows her mother that s
Visiting with a family friend, Pete, who is an electrical engineer himself, Emily learns how Pete has rigged up an alarm to remind him when lunch is ready. Emily decides that Pete's solution could easily be her solution, too.
Learning about conductors, circuitry, energy transformations, and schematic diagrams, Emily uses the engineering design process to create and improve her own alarm to remind her to do her chores!