Circuits

Virtual Lab Tour

Laura Morrison explains how e-textiles, Chibitronics, and coding can be incorporated into the classroom.

Introduction to Circuits

A circuit is a closed loop that carries electrons and includes a power source (i.e., battery) and conductive material to carry the electrons to the output (i.e., a light) and back to the power source.

Series circuits are closed circuits in which the current follows one path.

 

Parallel circuits are closed circuits in which the current has two or more paths to follow.

In each circuit, the flow of electrons is from negative to positive.

Chibitronics (Paper Circuit Building)

Stay tuned! More information to come.

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E-Textiles (Fabric Circuit Building)

(Saunders, 2016)

For an example of how you could use e-textiles in your classroom, see the following e-textiles handout.

MaKey MaKey (Electronic Invention Kit)

MaKey MaKey is an electronic invention kit that allows people of all ages to use everyday objects and combine them with the internet. With MaKey Makey, you can take a conductive material and turn it into a keyboard controller. The MaKey MaKey circuit board allows users to reconfigure the mouse left-click, spacebar, arrow key controls, and other standard computer inputs.

Coding software (such as Scratch) can be used to get students involved with coding and playing games using the MaKey MaKey.

Possible Conductive Materialsmakeymakey

Many standard household objects can be turned into a controller using the MaKey MaKey:

  • Fruit (e.g., a banana)
  • Water
  • Plants (if they are hydrated!)
  • Metal (e.g., copper wire, aluminum foil, coins)
  • Play-doh
  • Pencil graphite

Affordances of MaKey MaKey Kits

  • Users can decide what they want to play and how they want to play.
  • Room for creativity and adaptation.
  • Can be used with all computers.
  • Easy to use.
  • Inexpensive (approximately $50 CAD).

MaKey MaKey video game controller in action.

Challenges of MaKey MaKey Kits

  • Wires are too short, limiting the area of use.
  • In order for the device to work, it always has to be ‘grounded’. This means that the person has to physically hold (or otherwise, be attached to) one wire in their hand.
  • The kit contains a limited number of alligator clips; you may have to purchase extra.
  • Doesn’t work with iPads; must be connected to a laptop or desktop computer.
  • Setup can be challenging, especially to re-assign letter keys.
  • Items used to replace keys have to be conductive.

makeymakeyspace

Curriculum Connections: Primary (Grades 1 – 3) 

 

Arts:

Language Arts 

Oral Communication

  • 2 – Use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 3 – Reflect on and identify their strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations.

General Expectations

The Arts: Music

  • C1 – Creating and Performing: Apply the creative process to create and perform music for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music. (e.g., use the MaKey MaKey to control a keyboard)
    • C1.3 – Create simple compositions for a specific purpose and a familiar audience.

The Arts: Visual Art

  • D1 – Creating and Presenting: Apply the creative process to produce a variety of two- and three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate feelings, ideas and understandings.
    • D1.4 – Use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges.
  • D2 – Reflecting, Responding, and Analysis: Apply the critical analysis process to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art experiences.
  • D3 – Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms, styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts (grades 1 – 3).

Mathematics:

Elements of the Mathematical Process

  • Problem-solving
  • Reflecting
  • Representing
  • Communicating

Curriculum Connections: Junior (Grades 4 – 6)

Science/Technology:

Grade 4: 

Light and Sound

  • Assess the impact on society and the environment of technological innovations related to light and sound.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of light and sound as forms of energy that have specific
    characteristics and properties.

Grade 5: 

Human Organ System (e.g., temperature sensor)

  • Analyze the impact of human activities and technological innovations on human health.

Conservation of Energy and Resources

  • Investigate energy transformation and conservation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various forms and sources of energy and the ways in which energy can be transformed and conserved.

Grade 6: 

General Expectations

  • Investigate the characteristics of static and current electricity, and construct simple circuits.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of electrical energy and its transformation into and from other forms of energy.

Electricity and Electrical Devices

  • Investigate the characteristics of static and current electricity, and construct simple circuits.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of electrical energy and its transformation into and from other forms of energy.
  • Design and build series and parallel circuits, draw labelled diagrams identifying the
    components used in each, and describe the role of each component in the circuit

Flight

  • Explain ways in which properties of air can be applied to the principles of flight and flying devices.

Arts:

Language Arts

Oral Communication

  • 2 – Use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 3 – Reflect on and identify their strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations.

General Expectations

The Arts: Visual Art

  • D1 – Creating and Presenting: Apply the creative process to produce a variety of two- and three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate feelings, ideas and understandings.
  • D2 – Reflecting, Responding, and Analysis: Apply the critical analysis process to communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art experiences.
  • D3 – Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms, styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts (grades 4 – 6).

Curriculum Connections: Intermediate/Senior (Grades 7 – 12)

Science/Technology:

General Expectations

  • F2 – Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, magnetic fields and electric circuits, and solve related problems.

Grade 7: 

Heat in the Environment

  • Heat is a form of energy that can be transformed and transferred. These processes can be explained using the particle theory of matter.

Grade 8: 

Fluids

  • Analyze how the properties of fluids are used in various technologies, and assess the impact of these technologies on society and the environment.

Grade 9:

The Characteristics of Electricity

  • Investigate, through inquiry, various aspects of electricity, including the properties of static and current electricity, and the quantitative relationships between potential difference, current, and resistance in electrical circuits.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of static and current electricity.
    • Design, draw circuit diagrams of, and construct series and parallel circuits (e.g., a circuit where all light bulbs go out when one light bulb is removed; a circuit that allows one of several light bulbs to be switched on and off independently of the others)

Atoms, Elements, and Compounds

  • Investigate, through inquiry, the physical and chemical properties of common elements and compounds.

Grade 10: 

Light and Geometric Optics

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of technological devices and procedures designed to make use of light, and assess their social benefits.

Climate Change

  • Analyze some of the effects of climate change around the world, and assess the effectiveness of initiatives that attempt to address the issue of climate change.

Earth and Space Science

  • Investigate various natural and human factors that influence Earth’s climate and climate change.

Grade 11 Physics:

Energy and Society

  • Analyze technologies that apply principles of and concepts related to energy transformations, and assess the technologies’ social and environmental impact.
  • Investigate energy transformations and the law of conservation of energy, and solve related problems.

Electricity and Magnetism

  • Analyze the social, economic, and environmental impact of electrical energy production and technologies related to electromagnetism, and propose ways to improve the sustainability of electrical energy production.
  • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, magnetic fields and electric circuits, and solve related problems.

Grade 12 Physics: 

The Wave Nature of Light

  • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, the properties of waves and light, and solve related problems.

Energy and Momentum

  • Analyze, and propose ways to improve, technologies or procedures that apply principles related to energy and momentum, and assess the social and environmental impact of these technologies or procedures.
  • Investigate, in qualitative and quantitative terms, through laboratory inquiry or computer simulation, the relationship between the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, and solve related problems.

Grade 12 College:

General Expectations

  • D1 – Analyze the development of selected electrical and electromagnetic technologies, and evaluate their impact on society and the environment.
  • D3 – Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of electricity and magnetism.

Arts:

Language Arts (Grades 7 & 8)

Oral Communication

  • 2 – Use speaking skills and strategies appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 3 – Reflect on and identify their strengths as listeners and speakers, areas for improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in oral communication situations.

Visual Arts 

Grade 7:

  • B2 – Art, Society, and Values: Demonstrate an understanding of how art works reflect the society in which they were created, and of how they can affect both social and personal values.
  • D1.1 create artworks, using a variety of traditional forms and current media technologies, that express feelings, ideas, and issues, including opposing points of view (e.g., an acrylic painting that uses symbols to represent conflict and resolution; performance art or an installation that portrays both sides of the struggle between humankind and nature; a mixed-media or digital composition of a personal mandala that shows both unity and opposing forces)

Music

Grade 7: 

  • C1.3 create musical compositions in a variety of forms for specific purposes and audiences (e.g., use available instruments to create a composition in response to an object, a visual image, or a silent film; add rhythmic, melodic, or chordal accompaniment to a familiar song; improvise rhythmic or melodic phrases over a variety of ostinati; create compositions using found sounds or recycled materials)

Dance

Grade 8:

  • A1.4 use technology, including multimedia, to enhance the message communicated by the choreography in a dance piece (e.g., use lights and costumes to create a mood; project images on the dancers or a backdrop to illustrate a theme) Teacher prompt: “How could you use light and/or sound technology to enhance the message of your dance piece about the majesty of forests?”

Visual Arts

  • D1.1 create artworks, using a variety of traditional forms and current media technologies, that express feelings, ideas, and issues and that demonstrate an awareness of multiple points of view (e.g., create a collage that shows contrast between two points of view or a cause-and-effect relationship; create an artwork on a current event or issue, using the conventions of sequential art or comics, or using found images and text to express a point of view in the style of a contemporary artist such as Martin Firrel, Jenny Holzer, or Barbara Kruger)
  • D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, techniques, and technologies to determine solutions to increasingly complex design challenges
    • Drawing: create a pastel composition or flipbook that combines or contrasts styles of two artists or styles from two cultures.
    • Mixed media: make a series of small artist trading cards [ATCs] in a variety of media, illustrating a contemporary issue or topic.
    • Painting: make an acrylic painting of a magnified section of a sketch or an image that is seen through a viewfinder or frame, then make changes to the painted surface with oil pastels to create a personal interpretation of the image.
    • Printmaking: make a series of two-colour softoleum, linoleum, or block prints that are variations on a social theme and that are printed on papers of different colours and textures [magazine paper, coloured bond paper, newsprint, tissue paper, handmade paper].
    • Sculpture: make a sculptural portrait of a hero or favourite person out of papier mâché or plaster bandage that captures what the person means to them.
    • Technology: create a short movie from an animated image sequence or video, using editing software to create suspense, a feeling of speed, or a sense of the passage of time)

English (Grades 9 – 10)

Oral Communication

  • 1 – Listening to Understand.
  • 2 – Speaking to Communicate.
  • 3 – Reflecting on Skills and Strategies.

Reading

  • 1 – Reading for Meaning: Read and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and informational texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning.
  • 2 – Understanding Form and Style: Recognize a variety of text forms, text features, and stylistic elements and demonstrate understanding of how they help communicate meaning.
  • 4 – Reflecting on Skills and Strategies.

Media Studies

  • 3 – Creating Media Texts: Create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques.
  • 4 – Reflecting on Skills and Strategies: Reflect on and identify their strengths as media interpreters and creators, areas of improvement, and the strategies they found most helpful in understanding and creating media texts.

Grade 9:

Visual Arts:

Creating and Presenting
● A3.1 explore and experiment with a variety of media/materials and traditional and/or
emerging technologies, tools, and techniques, and apply them to produce art works (e.g.,
experiment with contemporary art-making methods and materials; incorporate found objects, digital images, and mixed media into their art work; use alternative painting surfaces and implements)

Grade 11

The Arts: Media Arts (Academic)

  • A2.2 – Analyze how media artists use the principle of interactivity, and apply that principle in the design and production of media art works that explore elements from contributing arts.

The Arts: Visual Arts (Academic)

General Expectations

  • A1. The Creative Process: Apply the creative process to create a variety of art works, individually and/or collaboratively.
  • A2. The Elements and Principles of Design: Apply the elements and principles of design to create art works for the purpose of self-expression and to communicate ideas, information, and/or messages.
  • A3. Production and Presentation: Produce art works, using a variety of media/materials and traditional and emerging technologies, tools, and techniques, and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of ways of presenting their works and the works of others.

Grade 12

The Arts: Visual Arts (Academic)

General Expectations

  • B2 – Art, Society, and Values: Demonstrate an understanding of how art works reflect the society in which they were created, and of how they can affect both social and personal values.

Industry Connections

All electronics and digital technologies rely on circuits. Understanding how to build and fix circuits equips individuals with the skills and agency to ‘hack’ or tinker with the surrounding digital world (including computer motherboards, automated systems, and personal/creative projects that rely on circuitry and wiring).

Even modern art pieces and textiles are now embedded with circuitry, fusing the arts and sciences together.

lilypadembroidery

References

All About Circuits. (2003). What are “series” and “parallel” circuits: Chapter 5  – Series and parallel circuits. Retrieved from: http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/direct-current/chpt-5/what-are-series-and-parallel-circuits/.

Saunders, A. (2016). E-textiles with Allison and Sarah [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsfrROZHbHQ.