Circuits: A Bright Idea!
Today, students learned how electrical circuits work and their usefulness in controlling the electricity we use everyday. We began our lesson with the review of a simple circuit, which is a closed system that allows electricity to flow and then students were introduced to more complex circuits.
Two types of complex circuits are called series and parallel circuits, which help direct electricity in different ways. A series circuit consists of multiple components connected in a single path for the electrical current to flow along. In a parallel circuit, the electrical current is split over more than one closed loop path.
Students enjoyed creating and investigating series and parallel circuits with batteries and light bulbs. They also learned that a switch works to either keep the system closed (allowing the flow of electricity to continue, for example to keep light bulbs lit), or to open the system (stopping the flow of electricity, turning light bulbs off). We finished up with a discussion of circuit breakers and fuses and how they are designed to safely break a circuit that is overloaded beyond its capacity.