Science
Strand IV
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Physical Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand IV
Content Standard 1
All students will measure and describe the things around us; explain what the world around us is made of; identify and describe forms of energy; and explain how electricity and magnetism interact with matter (Matter and Energy)

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1
High School

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/High School
Benchmark 4
Explain how current is controlled in simple series and parallel circuits.

Benchmark Clarification

Current is controlled in simple series and parallel circuits. A series circuit has a single pathway for the current. Current in a series circuit is either flowing or not flowing as a result of a switch.

A parallel circuit has multiple pathways for the current to flow. Current can be flowing through some parts of the circuit and not others through the use of switches.

Fuses and circuit breakers act as safety switches by cutting off a circuit in the case of too much current flowing through it. Excessive current causes wiring to overheat, which can result in a fire.

Students will

  • Construct simple series circuits and parallel circuits using wires, bulbs, motors, switches, and batteries
  • Explain how fuses and circuit breakers act as safety switches

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/High School/Benchmark 4
Key Concept

  • single path
  • multiple path
  • switches
  • fuses
  • circuit breakers
  • power supply
  • batteries
  • household current
  • motors
  • bulbs
  • circuit diagrams

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/High School/Benchmark 4
Real World Context

  • basic household wiring
  • automobile wiring
  • flashlights
  • tree lights
  • power lines
  • electrical conductivity testing

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/High School/Benchmark 4
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How do electricity and magnetism interact with matter?

Focus Question: How is current controlled in simple series and parallel circuits?

As an introduction to parallel and series circuits, the teacher will give students bulbs, some wire, switches, strings of Christmas lights, and dry cells (batteries). Students will design and construct two circuits: one circuit has switches that turn off all lights when open and one circuit has switches that control individual lights. During a class discussion, students will draw conclusions from what they have observed and will explain how the circuits work. Students will distinguish between series and parallel circuits and will draw diagrams in their journals.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.HS.1), (SCI.I.1.HS.2).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.HS.1).

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/High School/Benchmark 4
Assessment Example

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Correctness of labels

Labels one diagram correctly.

Labels two diagrams correctly.

Labels three diagrams correctly.

Labels all diagrams correctly.

Correctness of explanation

Explains one reason correctly.

Explains two reasons correctly.

Explains three reasons correctly.

Explains all reasons correctly.

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/High School/Benchmark 4
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.IV.1.HS.4.html

Basic electricity.
http://www.yeg.co.uk/fun/basic_electricity/welcome.shtml

Fundamentals of electricity.
http://www.electronicstheory.com/html/e101-1.htm

Voltage circuit simulator.
http://www.yeg.co.uk/fun/voltage/welcome.shtml

Given four circuit diagrams, label each as a simple series, parallel, open (incomplete) or closed circuit and explain the reason for the labeling.