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Simple Circuits in STEM

STEM Circuit

When you flip on a light switch, the light comes on. Do you know why the light goes on? Our third and fourth graders do! Last week in STEM, students learned about and built their own simple electric circuits.

What is a Circuit?

Ask any student in Mrs. Popps’ STEM class what a circuit is, and they will tell you. A circuit is a path for electricity to move through. It’s sort of like a big loop. As electricity moves or flows, the electricity might light a bulb, turn a fan, or make your toaster hot.

In third and fourth grade, students learn about circuits and how it generates power. For the exploration piece, the students learn how to attach a battery pack to a small motor to make a wheel rotate. Next, they created copper tape paper circuits that powered an LED light.Simple Circuits

“I love teaching electric circuits because it’s hands-on, fun, and something students recognize from everyday life,” said Mrs. Popps, Grace Lower School STEM teacher.

The Basic Circuit Structure

Students learned that their circuit structure had several basic parts:

  • A battery, which stores electrical energy
  • The copper tape, which conducts electricity from the battery to the light
  • An LED light, which turns on when electricity flows through it

To begin, students were given one LED light and a battery. They were encouraged to explore the look and feel of these materials and share what they noticed. Finally, they were asked to create an object or item incorporating the LED light circuit.

“I encouraged the student to create their own design,” said Mrs. Popps. “Their creativity is truly amazing to see; this is an opportunity for students’ imagination to shine.”

What a fun, creative way to light up their world!

About Grace School
Grace School is a private, Christian school in Houston, Texas serving students from ages 20 months through Grade 8. Uniquely combining a faith-based STEM curriculum, Grace School fosters an environment where children develop the skills and mindsets to become compassionate innovators, problem solvers, creators, and changemakers.