Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 5
Keywords: energy, electricity, electrical energy, circuits, insulators, conductors, transform, transformation of energy, EDC, Engineering Design Challenge
- Feedback to Students:
- The teacher should monitor students during the building phase.
- Students will use this discussion feedback to improve their designs.
- Possible discussion questions can include:
- As students are designing their circuits, ask:
- Why did you select the materials that you selected?
- As students are testing and modifying (during the Engineering Challenge portion), ask:
- Why do you think that you received the results that you did?
- What can you do to improve the performance of your circuit?
- Why do you think these improvements will work?
- As students are testing their final circuit design, ask:
- Why do you think that certain materials worked in the circuit design while others did not?
- Summative Assessment:
- Use the attached Engineering Design Process Evaluation Rubric to evaluate student's performance during the Design Challenge portion of this lesson.
- Have the students write summary paragraphs that answer the following questions:
- Explain your circuit design and what materials you chose to use and why you selected them.
- How did you modify your designs and why?
- What was the final design that you used and why did you use it?
- What were the results of testing?
- How did your circuit diagram ensure that your bulb would light up?
- Classify the materials you used as insulators or conductors.
Accommodations & Recommendations
- Students who have physical limitations may be placed with a partner or in a group with students who do not.
- ELL/LD students may benefit from being in a group with someone who could assist them and/or being able to present the final summary paragraph orally with the teacher instead.
Snap Circuit Component:
- Show students the Snap Circuit kit and show them the most common components. It is especially important to show them the grid to attach the components to, the power source and the links. You may also choose to show them the speaker and motor components. Additionally the Snap Circuit kits also come with a direction book that has directions on how to build a number of different designs with varying levels of complexity.
- Tell the students that they will be using the Snap Circuit kits to construct a circuit that will do something other than light up the light. If your students are stuck you can suggest using the motor to launch the helicopter piece or working together to use one of the sound producing components. You may also opt to let them use the instruction book.
- Allow students the chance to build and test their new circuits.
- Students should sketch and label their designs in their science notebooks.
- Have students share their design. Ask them to explain how electrical energy is transformed into other forms of energy with each example. Whereas their initial circuits transformed electrical energy into light energy, their Snap Circuits may transform electrical energy into mechanical energy (motor and helicopter) or electrical energy into sound energy (using the various sound devices). Students should record their designs and the transformations of energy in their science notebooks.
- Instead of having the students complete a written summary at the end, have the students take pictures each step of the way on their project and then create a PhotoStory file.
Special Materials Needed:
Materials needed for Introduction activity:
- Lamp or picture of a lamp
- Ball of Clay
Materials for Engineering and Design Challenge:
- Battery Holder (1 per group)
- Light bulb (should be appropriate for the socket/holder that you are using) (1 per group)
- Light bulb socket/holder (1 per group)
- Electrical tape
- Alligator clips with wires (multiple per group)
- Copper wire
- Strips of aluminum foil
- Rubber bands
- Strips of paper
- Strips of cotton cloth
- Plastic silverware
- Pencil cap erasers
- Pencil lead for mechanical pencils
- Plastic drinking straws
- Styrofoam cups
- Index Card
- Craft Sticks
- Fishing Line
- Metal washers
- Other materials that you feel would be applicable
Materials for extension activity:
- Snap Circuit Kit (1 per group)
Materials for teacher use:
- Teachers may decide to copy and post the Engineer/Design Challenge Process graphic (attached to this lesson)
- Copy of the Engineering Design Process Evaluation Rubric Engineering Rubric (for summative assessment)
The amount of time needed to complete this activity varies based on the number of trials and prototypes. Three 60 minute periods or more is recommended.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Kimberly Browne
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Is this Resource freely Available? Yes
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.