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Electrical Circuitry Projects for the Classroom

We use electricity every day, but the electronics around us largely operate without us being aware of how they do so. The "how" of electronics working is answered by electrical circuits. Electrical circuits allow current to flow through our electronic devices to produce light, sound, and a variety of other effects. Of course, that is an easy statement to make but one that is much harder to explain or demonstrate. That is where classroom projects and lessons come in. When teaching about electrical circuits is included in a student's basic education, they become far more knowledgeable about the world around them. Many who learn about electronic circuits will even go on to a rewarding career in electrical engineering and in using the principles of electric circuitry to improve the world around them. The best way to learn about circuits is through hands-on projects in which circuits are built and used, and there is no shortage of possibilities for these projects.

  • Explaining How Electric Circuits Work (PDF): This full unit plan includes activities, worksheets, and lesson plans for teaching the science of electric circuits.
  • Circuit Construction Set: Use this interactive computer program to build a circuit and demonstrate the flow of electricity. This is good for one-on-one instruction or a group setting.
  • Building Circuits: This is an excellent resource page for classroom teachers that includes a variety of projects and lesson plan ideas for teaching students about electricity and circuits.
  • Electric Play Dough: By mixing up batches of two different kinds of dough, teachers can help students create circuits and learn about conductors and insulators.
  • Open and Short Circuits: This simple demonstration can help students learn about open and closed circuits and what a short circuit is.
  • Cool Circuits: On this page, students will learn the basics of building circuits. In addition to this information, some useful models and project ideas can be found by scrolling down.
  • Designing Electric Circuits: Door Alarm (video): This page offers an easy-to-follow guide for creating a circuit that will operate a door alarm.
  • Easy LED Circuit Project: Students who get the hang of building this simple LED circuit can then take what they have learned and apply it to other instances of circuit-building.
  • Build a Dance Pad: This lesson plan contains everything you need to get students working on devices that they can play with. Plan to leave time at the end of the class period to let them try out their creation!
  • Parallel and Series Circuits: There's no doubt that you will want to demonstrate the difference between parallel and series circuits when you teach on the subject. This project will help you do just that.
  • Make Electric Circuits: Here is a good, basic science project that kids can use to learn how to make basic electronic circuits.
  • Message Circuit Board: The instructions available here will allow students to design and build a light-up circuit board that says "Marry Me!" or any phrase of the student's choosing.
  • Fun With Circuits (PDF): Students don't always need special equipment to build a circuit. In fact, you can show them how to use things like aluminum foil and paper clips to assemble simple circuits.
  • Electrical Circuits Experiment: UCLA features this lengthy page on circuits complete with a project example that can be constructed to demonstrate how they work.
  • Sewn Circuits (PDF): Using these designs, students can adapt what they have learned about making circuits to a sewing project, adding lights and electronics to clothing and other sewn objects.
  • A Simple Circuit: This resource is particularly good for younger students, as it helps them to design the simplest circuits that can nevertheless do great things.
  • Simple Circuit With Switch: This is a good introductory project for the classroom, as it allows students to build a simple circuit and add a switch to it for controlling the flow of electrical current.
  • Three Fun Electronics Projects: Why settle for just one circuit project when this resource features three different circuit projects that are easy to complete? Students can use this page to create a number of touch- and sound-activated lights and other things run by electric power.
  • Build a Light Bulb: Show students how you can use regular household items to create a homemade light that glows!
  • Series and Parallel Circuits (PDF): Guide students through creating and experimenting with these two types of circuits to help them learn how they work and the differences between them.
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