Electrical Energy and Circuits: Students begin by investigating static and current electricity and the transfer of energy. They build electric circuits, use ammeters and voltmeters to measure current and voltage, and calculate the power in devices in series and parallel circuits. They draw schematic diagrams of circuits and develop a model for electricity, using a water flow analogy.
Electrical Components in Circuits: Students apply what they have learned about current, voltage, and power to calculate the total amount of energy an electrical device uses when it operates for a period of time. Students examine a series of devices (containing resistors, capacitors, diodes, wires, and solar cells) and identify the function of each component in the circuit.
Electrical Systems: Students identify general properties of systems by focusing on familiar systems and on the use of feedback in control systems. They construct a thermostat using a bimetallic strip to control a fan and thus the temperature of the strip. They are challenged to use what they have learned about circuit components to build an electric circuit to perform a specific function and to make a class presentation of their system..
Anchor Activity: This is a research project that requires students to do an energy inventory of their homes and calculate the cost of using various electrical devices. By examining electric bills, students find out the average cost of electrical energy (per kWh) and use that to estimate the cost of using their appliances for a day and a month.
The module begins with a pre-assessment and includes three formal assessments.