This summer Valencia is going to host a STEM camp for high school seniors, and we are going to have 24 students visiting different science labs at West Campus during two days. I may use some portion of this “sample lesson” for the physics portion of the STEM camp.
I am going to divide the students on 6 groups of 4 (aligning them by height and then grouping as 1, 2 -23, 24; 3,4 – 21, 22; etc.) and sit them in front of their computer stations. Then I am going to show a short video explaining principles of electric circuits:
Explaining Electric Circuit
After watching the video, we will talk about basic elements of circuits: battery, resistors, wires, switches, and light bulbs. Then each group of students will be given an “assignment” to “build a circuit” using PHET simulation “AC-Virtual-Lab”.
The task will be to connect three light bulbs to a battery three different ways to make them shine brighter or dimmer. If necessary, the instructor and TAs will help. After completion the “construction of the circuits”, the groups will be asked a number of multiple-choice conceptual questions related to simple dc circuits they just constructed.
Each group will be given a set of paper answer card (“A”, “B”, “C”, “D”), and each student in a group will be “representing” a particular answer card. If a group will decide that “A” is a correct answer, student representing “A” will stand up. The group with the highest score will be declared the winner.
Time permitting, we can also play “vocabulary match” using basic elements of the circuit.