Breaking loops(Activity)

On-Off Switches

What the activity is for

Simple make or break switches complete or break single loops. Here children investigate the simple on-off switches, devising a number of different ways of making and breaking loops.

What the activity is for

  • a large complete electrical loop
  • a collection of pieces of conductor to make switches
  • batteries, bulbs, wires

  • What happens during this activity

    Show a large complete loop, containing a battery and a bulb, and then ask how to turn the bulb on and off. Extend the question to include turning the bulb on or off from a large number of different locations around the loop. Here you can emphasise the loop as a complete system, because what happens at one point affects the entire loop.

    The children should have a go at devising their own switches, aiming both for elegant solutions and for intriguing solutions, as well as simple reliable switches. Having to hand a few large switches (ensure that these are on-off switches) of a variety of designs will encourage the children to adopt different approaches.

    This is a nugget in the TA thread – connect all three threads from any link

    Physics Narrative (PN) Teaching & Learning Issues(TL) Teaching Approaches(TA)

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