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  • Crafting Circuits

    Journal Article | March 2021

  • Electric Circuits

    Book Chapter | September 2014

    All electrical gadgets and gizmos need an electric current to work. To make it easier to learn about and make circuits, you will need to know the symbols for some components. In this chapter, you will learn about these…

  • Work It, Circuits!

    Book Chapter | February 2019

    The guiding question in this activity is,“How does a circuit work?” Old Christmas light strands work great for this activity to help students understand circuits. A detailed science behind the activity is provided.…

  • Electrical Circuits: Promoting Learning Communities

    Book Chapter | March 2010

    Direct current (DC) electricity flows through a closed circuit of people, and a battery-powered ball lights up. In this activity, the Energy Ball (or UFO Ball) is a Ping-Pong ball look-alike battery-powered ball that…

  • Fourth-Grade Scientists Investigate Electric Circuits

    Book Chapter | January 2007

    Trisha Kagey Boswell is a third-grade teacher at an elementary school in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she has taught for eight years. Her school is an art-integrated magnet school. When she wrote this chapter, she…

  • Making the Connections: Addressing Students’ Misconceptions of Circuits

    Book Chapter | November 2019

    Chapters 6–13 share grades 3–5 model lessons for putting the “explore-before-explain” mind-set into practice. In this chapter, elementary students explore phenomena related to understanding the question “Why do the…

  • Making the Connection: Addressing Students’ Misconceptions of Circuits

    Book Chapter | September 2018

    Chapters 6–9 share model lessons for putting the explore-before-explain mindset into practice using either a POE (Predict, Observe, and Explain) or 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate) instructional…

  • How Do You Think About the Flow of Electric Current Through a Circuit?

    Book Chapter | March 2014

    The purpose of this assessment probe is to elicit students’ ideas about electric current. It is designed to identify the mental models students use to explain how electric current flows in a simple circuit. The probe is…

  • Focus on Physics: Electric Power in a Parallel Circuit With an Automobile Battery

    Journal Article | January 2019

    Bulb-battery teaching demonstration explains voltage, current, and power in parallel circuits with the aid of a common automobile battery.

  • Disequilibrium: A Human Circuit

    Journal Article | December 2016

    This column shows how to use discrepant events to confront misconceptions. This month’s discrepant event involves creating a human circuit using gadgets.

  • Shoe Box Circuits

    Journal Article | December 2009

    Students’ eyes grow wide with wonder as they get a motor to work or make a bulb light for the first time. As these daunting feats of electrical engineering remind us, teaching electricity is invariably rewarding and…

  • Explaining Electrical Circuits

    Journal Article | April 2011

    A unit designed to help fourth graders explain (in writing) scientific concepts they learned through inquiry activities and explicit teaching.

  • A Virtual Circuits Lab

    Journal Article | July 2010

    The University of Colorado’s Physics Education Technology (PhET) website offers free, high-quality simulations of many physics experiments that can be used in the classroom. The Circuit Construction Kit, for example,…

  • Teaching Circuits Is Child's Play

    Journal Article | March 1999

    Although all the basics were covered in a traditional unit on electricity, it felt like something was missing—would the students be able to apply their knowledge of circuits to real-world situations. In this activity,…

  • Safe Science: Circuit Safety

    Journal Article | November 2007

    The study of electricity in general science or physics is fascinating for students. Unfortunately, a number of electrical dangers exist in the laboratory that are applicable to all types of science including biology,…

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