Teaching Electric Circuits by @emc2andallthat

Name: Gethyn Jones
Twitter name: @emc2andallthat
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Physics
Position: Head of Physics
What is your advice about? Teaching Electric Circuits

1: Introduce flow of charge by sending a shock down a line of students from a van der graaf generator.

2: I favour the coulomb train model: picture a closed loop of railway wagons called coulombs. One amp of current = one coulomb passing per second.

3: Voltage / potential difference / p.d. is an “energy difference”. One volt = one joule added/removed from each coulomb.

4: Use rope models: a closed loop of rope with knots tied at regular intervals to represent the coulombs. They are especially useful to explain current flow in parallel circuits.

5: Don’t assume that students understand the formalism of even simple circuit diagrams. They always appreciate photos/3D sketches of any circuits.


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