Prior to the March Break, M André and Mme Roman’s Grade 6 students participated in a series of Circuit Challenges.
Working in small groups, they were faced with various unique tasks designed to challenge their thinking with regards to circuitry. Given that students are currently studying Electricity in Science, the timing could not have been better.
Students were exposed to Snap Circuits which consist of a variety of small parts that literally snap together on plastic modules. They needed to troubleshoot and create circuits based on a list of materials. Their goal was always to use the least number of pieces to fulfil the challenge goal. For example, they were asked to simulate a flying saucer, integrating a propeller and a motor within their circuit. Needless to say, this was one of the most popular (and most fun) tasks…
The second set of challenges incorporated Mazo’s newly acquired littleBits kits. LittleBits are easy-to-use electronic building blocks that are both colour-coded and magnetic! Not surprisingly, these challenges were even more complex, and required perseverance, team-work and creative/outside the box thinking. Students needed to problem-solve ways to adjust light intensity, allow specific colours of lights to turn on, and even flash! They are all eager to get their hands on the littleBits kits anew and tinker some more!
Throughout these experiences, students applied their knowledge of simple and complex circuits, and could be heard explaining what parts needed to be used and why, thanks to previously acquired vocabulary. In cases where they needed to troubleshoot, this vocabulary proved useful as it helped them clearly explain, work and re-work their circuits, not to mention identify necessary materials and their individual roles.