This activity introduces students to electric circuits through a number of hands-on activities utilizing copper tape, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and other basic components. A number of concepts are introduced, including electrical flow, polarity, open and closed circuits, and series and parallel circuits. The objective of the activity is for students to make observations and base conclusions on those observations related to the conductivity of materials, load capacity, and the properties of series and parallel circuits. In doing so, students gain an understanding of how electricity can be manipulated in a circuit to do useful things while gaining perspective into the important role circuits play in our daily lives.
This activity typically takes at least 60-90 minutes to complete and should be done in one session.
Engineering Circuits is part of the STEM2D Student Activity Series. The content and layout were both developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center as part of Johnson & Johnson's WiSTEM2D initiative (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design), using a template provided by FHI 360 and JA Worldwide. This series includes a suite of interactive and fun, hands-on activities for girls (and boys), ages 5-18, globally.