Instruction Guide: Circuits and Switches

Printer-friendly version

Thislessondelves into the technology behind circuits and switches - the building blocks of the NXT electronic components.

The Four Parts of a Circuit

Demo a simple circuit with a small lamp and recap video:

  • Power Source – battery in demo circuit

§ Conducting Path – wires in demo circuit

§ Switch – mechanical switch in demo circuit

§ Load – lamp in demo circuit

o Ask students for other examples of circuits in their lives

o Give an example circuit and ask student to identify the four parts. For example:

§ Headlights in a car

§ Electric toothbrush

§ MP3 player (ipod)

Insulators, Conductors and Semiconductors

o Demo simple circuit with small lamp and recap video:

§ Conductor – the wires

§ Insulator – plastic coating on wires

o Swap lamp in demo circuit for LED

§ Show the LED only lights when connected one way to power source

§ LED is semiconductor – only conducts electricity under certain conditions