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.

chibitronicsgif

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: Overall (Grades 1 – 12)

English (Grades 9 – 12)

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.

Language Arts (Grades 1 – 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.

Mathematics

Elements of the Mathematical Process

  • Problem-solving
  • Reflecting
  • Representing
  • Communicating

Curriculum Connections: Primary (Grades 1 – 3) 

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).

Curriculum Connections: Junior (Grades 4 – 6)

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).

Grade 6

Science

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.

Specific Expectations

  • 2.1 – 2.7 – Developing investigation and communication skills.
    • 2.2 – 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.
    • 2.6 – Use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including current, battery, circuit, transform, static, electrostatic, and energy, in oral and written communication.
  • 3.1 – 3.8 – Understanding basic concepts.
    • 3.6 – Explain the functions of the components of a simple electrical circuit.

Curriculum Connections: Intermediate (Grades 7 – 10)

Stay tuned! More to come.

Curriculum Connections: Senior (Grades 11 – 12)

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.

Science

General Expectations

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

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.

Science (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.

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.