Understanding atoms, conductivity, electric current and circuits
- To understand the basic structure of an atom, what it's composed of, what neutral atoms and ions are
- To understand the essential components of a simple electric circuit and how to construct one through experimentation and observation
- To investigate which materials are good and bad conductors of electricity and hypothesize why certain materials are better conductors than others
- To understand how the atomic structure of elements in objects impact their conductivity
- Tabs, PhET simulation
- Battery, wire, LEDs, different everyday objects
- Observation sheet
Hand over the observation sheet to students and ask them to fill it along as they progress through the different activities
Structure of atom
- Ask students in a group to come up with a single drawing that represents a possible model for an atom, and include a list of information about the atom about which they are all in agreement. (This is to get a sense of their prior knowledge)
- Then, handover tabs to the students and ask them to explore the 'Build and atom' PhET simulation and answer the following questions:
- What are the different 'particles' you see as the building components in an atom?
- When did the element name change?
- When did you see '-ion' and '+ion'
- Explain briefly the concepts associated with structure of an atom - what are protons, electrons, neutrons, nucleus, orbits
What causes electric current
- Open the 'DC circuit lab' simulation and ask students to observe what all they see on the screen. Demonstrate how the components can be moved around and connected.
- Ask students to play around with the simulation and make the bulb glow (If tabs are not available, facilitator can operate the simulation according to students instructions). Ask students to try and explain what is happening, what made the bulb glow.
- Once the bulb glows, click the checkbox that shows electron movement. Show simulation/video of electron movement in conductors and insulators and explain the concept to the students, connecting it to the structure of an atom.
- Demonstrate the construction of a simple electric circuit to students on the 'DC circuit lab' PhET simulation
- Ask students to try and construct a physical circuit using the given electric cell(battery), switch, connecting wires, and LED. Next, show that a conductivity tester can be created by opening any two ends of the circuit and placing different objects between the ends to see if it conducts.
- Give them different objects to test and ask them to classify based on their observations. Students can also pick up stuff from their surroundings like leaves, rocks, and test those as well.
Have a common discussion with the students where they share their learnings/observations. Following questions can be used to facilitate the discussion:
- Did you learn anything new from this activity? If yes, what?
- If somebody asked you what you know about atoms, what would you say?
- Can you draw the circuit we connected?
Explore a scientific phenomenon
Construct an electric circuit
Distinguish conductors and insulators
|Explore and explain the structure of atoms||Explore and explain the structure of atoms appropriately by examining the ions and valence electrons using the phet simulation||Explore and explain the structure of atoms almost correct by examining the ions and valence electrons using the phet simulation||Tries to explore the structure of atoms appropriately by examining the ions and valence electrons using the phet simulation but cannot explain||Struggles to explore and explain the structure of atoms appropriately by examining the ions and valence electrons using the phet simulation||Not able to explore or explain|
|Construct an electric circuit and make connection||Construct an electric circuit on phet simulation connecting to the structure of atom and movement of electrons||Construct an electric circuit with a partial explanation connecting to the structure of atom and movement of electrons||Construct an electric circuit but cannot connect it to the structure of atom or movemen of valence electrons||Struggles to construct circuit and establish connection||Not able to construct circuit or establish connection|
|Distinguish conductors and insulators||Distinguish conductors and insulators explaining the movement of electrons||Distinguish conductors and insulators with partial explanation||Distinguish conductors and insulators but cannot explain||Struggles to distinguish conductors and insulators or explain||Not able to|