Electricity 3-4



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Teacher Guide: UDL Electricity

Electricity 3-4


What is electricity?
Electricity is a part of modern life. Almost everyone has electricity in their house and uses it in dozens of ways all day long. But most people don't know what electricity is or how it works! This unit will help you explore electricity.
Traditional approach: Students read about electricity in a science textbook. All students read the same information and are tested in the same format.
UDL approach: Students explore electricity in multiple ways: from a fictional story to data collection with probes, and from hands-on inquiry experiments to testing conditions of computer models. Students are provided with scaffolded assistance to questions and offered choices for demonstrating what they’ve learned through text or drawings. Coaches offer prompts, hints, and models to engage students in the science content.
Additional UDL features: Students can choose the language of the text and have it read aloud. They can also change the font size.

Learning goals


Electricity is based on electric charges.
There are two kinds of charges: positive and negative. Matter is made up of lots and lots of both kinds of charges.
Positive and negative charges together cancel each other out, so matter can have lots of electric charges but be neutral (uncharged) overall.
Opposite charges attract (pull together). Positive and negative attract.
Like charges repel (push apart). Positive and positive repel. Negative and negative repel.

Rubbing certain things together, like a balloon and wool, transfers some charge from one to the other, so that they become oppositely charged. The charges are transferred and not created.

To work, electric devices need a circuit, which is a conducting loop that allows the electric charges to flow in a continuous circle.
Batteries store electrical energy as chemical energy. Batteries can push electric charges through a circuit, transferring the electrical energy from the battery to the device in the circuit, such as a light bulb.

Pre-test


Note: the unit begins with a short pre-test. Students must complete this pre-test and press the “Submit” button before proceeding to any activity.
Once the pre-test is submitted, students cannot go back to change their responses.

Activities

Electrical adventure Story


In “The Electrical Birthday Party,” it’s Chen’s birthday and he discovers that balloons are more than just decorations—they carry electrical charges, which he can separate and explore with the help of a very special magnifying glass.
Time: 20-30 minutes (or read in chapters as time allows)
Materials: Your students can read this story online by clicking arrows to navigate from one page to the next, or they can print a PDF version of the story to read offline (9 pages).
Notes:

Charged balloons Hands-on (no sensor), computer model


How do electric charges behave?
In this activity, you will place electric charges on balloons and see what they do. Then you will compare this to a model of charged balloons.
Learning goals:

Time: 20-30 minutes

Materials


  • Two balloons

  • String

  • Wool sweater or shirt


Notes:

String circuit Hands-on (no sensor)


How does electricity move?
In this activity, you will build a model of how electrical charges travel in a circuit and move energy from one place to another.
Time: 30-40 minutes

Materials:


  • piece of cardboard 25 x 50 cm (10 x 20 in)

  • bendable straws

  • string

  • tape

  • marker



Notes:

Light a bulb! Hands-on (no sensor)


How do you use electricity to light up a bulb?
In this activity, you will build a circuit to light a bulb with a battery.
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials:


  • AA or D size battery

  • rubber band

  • 2 pieces of wire, each about 10 cm long

  • holiday light


Notes:

Volts and lights Voltage sensor


How do light bulbs work?
In this activity, you will examine a light bulb and make it glow using a hand generator.
Time: 30-40 minutes
Materials:

  • Genecon hand generator

  • voltage sensor

  • two holiday lights


Notes:

Plus and minus Math

What are positive and negative numbers?

In this activity, you will explore how to combine positive and negative numbers.
Time: 30-40 minutes
Materials:


  • Copy of "plus and minus game" PDF page

  • Scissors


Notes:

Wrapping up


When students have completed the activities, they will need to enter a password to proceed to the post-test.
The password is: electricity
Once students submit this password to take the post-test, they will not be able to return to previous activities.

Post-test

The post-test is a copy of the pre-test, a short set of questions to gauge student learning.




Electricity 5-6


How does electrical energy get from one place to another?
In this unit, you will explore how electricity is moved around and transformed into other forms of energy.
Traditional approach: Students read about electricity in a science textbook. All students read the same information and are tested in the same format.
UDL approach: Students explore electricity in multiple ways: from a fictional story to data collection with probes, and from hands-on inquiry experiments to testing conditions of computer models. Students are provided with scaffolded assistance to questions and offered choices for demonstrating what they’ve learned through text or drawings. Coaches offer prompts, hints, and models to engage students in the science content.
Additional UDL features: Students can choose the language of the text and have it read aloud. They can also change the font size.


Learning goals

To work, electric devices need a circuit, which is a conducting loop that allows the electric charges to flow in a continuous circle. Electric current is the motion of charges (electrons) through a circuit.

Conductors (mostly metals) allow the flow of electric charge. Insulators (e.g. wood, paper, ceramics, plastics, stone) do not allow the flow of charge.
Batteries store electrical energy as chemical energy. Batteries can push electric charges through a circuit, transferring the electrical energy from the battery to the device in the circuit, such as a light bulb. Voltage mesaures the "push" of charges through a circuit.
Capacitors also store electrical energy. They collect positive and negative charges on two plates. When the capacitor is put into a circuit, the charges flow through the circuit, transferring energy.
A generator changes mechanical energy (e.g. turning a crank) into electrical energy.
When energy is transferred, there is always some loss of energy in the form of heat. For example, incandescent light bulbs make light by heating up a wire so much that it glows. More of the energy turns into heat than turns into light.
The wire in a light bulb, called a filament, is heated when electric charges (electrons) are pushed through the wire and bump into the atoms in the wire.
Voltage in batteries is added together when the batteries are lined up with the same orientation. If the orientation is reversed, the voltage is subtracted.

Pre-test


Note: the unit begins with a short pre-test. Students must complete this pre-test and press the “Submit” button before proceeding to any activity.
Once the pre-test is submitted, students cannot go back to change their responses.

Activities

Electrical adventure Story


In “Emily and Martin’s Electrical Adventure,” siblings Emily and Martin discover how to light a bulb. To do so, they first travel inside a battery where they learn about electric current.

Time: 20-30 minutes (or read in chapters as time allows)

Materials: Your students can read this story online by clicking arrows to navigate from one page to the next, or they can print a PDF version of the story to read offline (12 pages).
Notes:

Light it up Computer model


How do you design a circuit that will light up several bulbs?
In this activity, you will use a computer model to build a circuit to light two holiday lights with a battery.
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Computer model (PhET)
Notes:

Heat a wire Computer model


How does electricity make wires hot?
In this activity, you will use a model to explore how electric current heats up a wire.
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Computer model (NetLogo)
Notes:


Light and heat Temperature sensor


What kinds of energy does a bulb produce?
In this activity, you will measure the temperature of a holiday light.
Time: 30-40 minutes
Materials:


  • Temperature sensor, fast response

  • Holiday light

  • Battery (AA or AAA 1.5V)

  • Clear tape

  • Aluminum foil (small piece)

  • Rubber band

  • Paper binder clip

  • Extra wire (The leads on the holiday light may not be long enough to connect to two batteries.)


Notes:

Crank up the lights Voltage sensor


How can you make and store electricity?

This activity uses hand generators and capacitors to make and store electricity.

Time: 30-40 minutes
Materials:


  • Genecon hand generator

  • Voltage sensor

  • Tokin capacitor

  • AA 1.5 volt battery

  • Holiday light


Notes:


Sum volts Math

What is the voltage of combinations of batteries?


In this activity, you will measure what happens when batteries are added together in a series.
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials:


Notes:


Wrapping up


When students have completed the activities, they will need to enter a password to proceed to the post-test.
The password is: electricity
Once students submit this password to take the post-test, they will not be able to return to previous activities.

Post-test

The post-test is a copy of the pre-test, a short set of questions to gauge student learning.



Glossary

Atom: An atom is the smallest unit of an element. For example, hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide are types of atoms.


Attraction: Attraction is when two things pull toward each other
Attract: Two things attract when they pull toward each other.
Battery: A battery creates voltage with a chemical reaction to run electrical devices.

Circuit: An electric circuit is a continuous path that can carry an electric current.


Capacitor: A capacitor is a device that can store charge.

Charged: Charged means having more of one type of charge than the other, so that the two types of charge are not equal.

Conductor: A conductor is a material that allows the free passage of charges, such as metals like iron, copper, and aluminum.
Charge: Electric charge is a basic property of tiny particles that make up  matter. Particles can have positive, negative, or no charge.
Collide: To collide is to run into or bump into.
Conductor: A conductor is a material that allows the free passage of charges, such as metals like iron, copper, and aluminum.
Current: Electric current is the flow of electric charges.
Electric circuit: An electric circuit is a continuous path that can carry an electric current.
Electricity: Electricity is a form of energy that is made up of positive and negative charges.
Electron: An electron is a tiny part of an element. An electron has a negative charge.
Filament: A filament is the glowing wire inside a light bulb.
Generator: A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy.
Motor: A motor is a device that converts electrical energy to mechanical energy.
Insulator: An insulator is a material that does not allow the passage of charges, such as wood, plastic, and air.
Lightning: Lightning is the flow of charges through the air from cloud to cloud or from cloud to ground.
Net charge: Net charge is the difference between positive and negative charges. If they are equal, the net charge is zero.
Neutral: Neutral means having no net electrical charge, because the number of positive and negative charges is equal.
Parallel circuit: A parallel circuit is an electric circuit with two or more paths that current can follow.

Polarity: Polarity is one end or the other of a battery or magnet. For example, the positive or negative pole of a battery, or the north or sole pole of a magnet.

Positively charged: Positively charged means having more positive than negative charges, so that the net charge is positive.
Negatively charged: Negatively charged means having more negative than positive charges, so that the net charge is negative.
Proton: A proton is a basic particle with positive charge.
Repulsion: Repulsion is when two things push away from each other.
Resistance: Resistance is the measure of how much a material opposes the flow of electric current.
Series circuit: A series circuit is an electric circuit with only one path that current can follow.
Repel: Two things repel when they push away from each other.
Static: Static electricity is electric charges that aren't moving.
Voltage: Voltage is a measure of how much force is pushing charges through a circuit.


The Science of Electricity







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