Physics

Electrical Circuit Design

Lesson Plan

Grade Level

Introductory Physics, High School

State Standards:

High School

Essential Question:

What are the differences between series and parallel circuits?

Lesson Question:

Introduction:

This lesson, dealing with electricity, will give you an understanding of the ways in which basic elements of electricity can be configured to produce different types of circuits. You will also learn about the practical application of different types of circuits.

Task:

You will configure light bulbs on circuit boards in series and in parallel. The number of light bulbs connected will change and be replaced by wires. The bulb brightness will be recorded in log books as their number changes. A digital multimeter will be used to measure voltage, current, and resistance.

Lesson Experiences:

  1. The first part of this lesson will be a discussion about the basic concepts of electricity.
  2. Next you will use Quizlet to develop flash cards containing key vocabulary and concept information.
  3. We will conduct a preliminary demonstration on basic wiring.
  4. You will watch two short videos about electricty and electrical circuits.
    Video 1: Bill Nye the Science Guy "On Energy"


    Video 2: Electric Circuits F


  5. Using the following website as a guide to circuit construction,begin to wire your series and parallel circuits:

    Circuit image from www.arthursclipart.org (note - you can also refer to this page at www.arthursclipart.org as a guide to constuct your circuits).

  6. Begin to design your circuits as follows:
      Series Circuits
      1. Using a digital multimeter set to DC volts, measure the voltage, with the switch closed, by touching the meter's leads to the terminal of each light bulb.
      2. Measure the current in DC amps, by opening the switch and touching the meter's leads to the switch terminal.
      3. Record measurements in your log.
      4. Remove one bulb and replace with wire, measuring and recording current.
      5. Remove two bulbs, replace with wire, measure and record current.


      Parallel Circuit
      1. Using a digital multimeter, measure the voltage across the battery when the switch is closed.
      2. Measure the voltage across each bulb separately by touching the terminals of each bulb with the leads.
      3. Measure the total current in the circuit in DC amps by touching the terminals of the switch with the leads with the switch open.
      4. Record results for each measurement in the procedure.
      5. Compare the total current of the one bulb circuit, the three bulb series circuit, and the three bulb parallel circuit.
      6. Determine the relationship of the currents and the brightness of the bulbs.

Conclusion:

In this lesson you learned that wiring circuits in series and in parallel will affect the in which light bulbs or other resistors receive a charge. You should be able to use Ohm's law to calculate current, voltage, and resistance in circuits and understand their relationship.
Remember Ohm's law, and formula, I = V / R

Assessments:

Class presentations and discussion, log books, lab quiz, assessment Assessment Rubric 1

CONCLUSION:

In this lesson you learned that wiring circuits in series and in parallel will affect the in which light bulbs or other resistors receive a charge. You should be able to use Ohm's law to calculate current, voltage, and resistance in circuits and understand their relationship.
Remember Ohm's law, and formula, I = V / R

Resources: