Electricity

Science Year 5/6 Electric Art

The National Sensory Art Association (NSAA) has asked you to create an electric art installation for a sensory garden exhibition. Take a lucky dip and find out your specific theme, while following the brief to use motors, switches, bulbs and buzzers to make your art a stand-out choice for display.

Session 1 Electrical art challenge

Objectives

Take part in a National Sensory Art Association (NSAA) briefing session and learn about the challenges that lie ahead as designers of an electric art installation.

Science Objectives
i) Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
ii) Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram

Working Scientifically

  1. Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  2. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms

Other Curriculum Areas
D&T: Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups; Understand and use electrical systems in their products

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To plan and carry out electric circuit investigations using current electrical knowledge (Yr5&6).


Activities

  1. Plan and carry out a series of age appropriate electrical circuit investigations (Yr5&6)
  2. Create success criteria for their electric art challenge (Yr5&6)

Investigation
Electrical Art Challenge. Take part in a National Sensory Art Association (NSAA) briefing session and learn about the challenges that lie ahead as designers of an electric art installation. (Problem solving, Exploring, Fair testing, Pattern seeking)
Years 5&6 - Plan and carry out a series of electrical circuit investigations
Years 5&6 - Create success criteria for their electric art challenge


Vocabulary
Electricity, electrical circuit, complete circuit, circuit symbol, components, cell, battery, positive/negative, connect/connection, loose connection, wire, crocodile clip, bulb, bright/dim, switch, buzzer, volume, motor, fast(er)/slow(er), voltage, current, conductor, insulator, metal/non-metal, enquiry question, investigation, findings

Session 2 Playing with electricity - circuits

Objectives

Use your NSAA briefing meeting outcomes from Session 1 to set up some exploratory circuits in order to identify how they work and how to achieve a range of effects.

Science Objectives
i) Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit

Working Scientifically

  1. Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  2. Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  3. Recording data and results of increasing complexity using tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs
  4. Using test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests

Other Curriculum Areas
D&T: Use research to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose; Generate, develop, model & communicate ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional & exploded diagrams; Evaluate ideas and products against design criteria; Understand and use electrical systems in their products; Investigate and analyse a range of existing products

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Enquiry questions - ‘What if’ cards
  • Sample circuit diagrams
  • Images of art installations


Additional Resources

  • Electrical circuit sets
  • Electrical kits

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To set up a series of enquiries that explore electrical circuits and various effects (Yr5&6).
  • To record findings in tables and graphs (Yr5&6).


Activities

  1. Create annotated and exploded drawings/diagrams of their design ideas (Yr5&6)
  2. Carry out (independently – Yr6) a series of enquiries that explore the effects of voltage on simple (and parallel – Yr6) electrical circuit components, recording results in graph form (Yr5&6)


Investigation
Playing with Electricity. Set up some exploratory circuits in order to identify how they work and how to achieve a range of effects. (Problem solving, Exploring, Fair testing, Pattern seeking)
Years 5&6 - Create annotated and exploded drawings/diagrams of their design ideas
Years 5&6 - Carry out (independently – Y6) a series of enquiries that explore the effects of voltage on simple (and parallel – Y6) electrical circuit components, recording results in graph form


Vocabulary
Electricity, electrical circuit, complete circuit, circuit diagram, circuit symbol, components, cell, battery, positive/negative, terminal, connect/connection, loose connection, short circuit, wire, crocodile clip, bulb, bright/dim, switch, buzzer, volume, motor, fast(er)/slow(er), voltage, current, resistance, scatter diagram, investigation, causal relationship

Session 3 Designs, ideas & drawing circuit diagrams

Objectives

You need to demonstrate a technical flair for designing electrical circuits. Can you draw accurate circuit diagrams as a ‘blueprint’ for your design?

Science Objectives
i) Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
ii) Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram

Working Scientifically

  1. Recording data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Other Curriculum Areas
D&T: Evaluate ideas and products against design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work; Understand and use electrical systems in their products

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To identify from circuit diagrams those circuits that will or won’t work (Yr5&6).
  • To draw an accurate circuit diagram (Yr5&6).
  • To research and explain why electrical components behave as they do in terms of resistance (Yr6).


Activities

  1. Draw a circuit diagram with a summary of the brightness, volume and speed of components within it (Yr5&6)
  2. Use feedback to improve their design (Yr5&6)
  3. Annotate circuit diagrams with explanations of how components work (Y5&6) & the role of resistance (Yr6)


Investigation
Designs, Ideas and Circuit Diagrams. You need to demonstrate a technical flair for designing electrical circuits. Draw accurate circuit diagrams as a ‘blueprint’ for your design. (Problem solving, Analysing secondary sources)
Years 5&6 - Draw a circuit diagram with a summary of the brightness, volume and speed of components within it
Years 5&6 - Annotate circuit diagrams with explanations of how components work (& the role of resistance in this - Y6)


Vocabulary
Circuit diagram & symbol, components, cell, battery, positive/negative, terminal, connect/connection, loose connection, short circuit, wire, bulb, bright/dim, switch, buzzer, volume, motor, conductor, insulator, voltage, current, resistance

Session 4 Taking a dimmer approach

Objectives

The NSAA is keen for you to include a dimmer switch into your design, to create a more intimate effect on the art at night.

Science Objectives
i) Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches

Working Scientifically

  1. Planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  2. Taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision
  3. Recording data and results of increasing complexity using tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs

Other Curriculum Areas
D&T: Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks accurately; Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities; Understand and use electrical systems in their products

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To investigate, design and make a dimmer switch (Yr5&6).
  • To describe how a dimmer switch affects resistance (Yr5&6).


Activities

  1. Investigate and develop a dimmer switch (with support - Yr5, independently - Yr6)
  2. Identify materials and tools for their design (Yr5&6)


Investigation
Taking a Dimmer Approach. Have a go at designing a dimmer switch for your design – this should create a more intimate effect on the art at night. (Problem solving, Exploring, Pattern seeking)
Years 5&6 - Investigate and develop a dimmer switch (with support - Y5, independently - 6)

Vocabulary
Electrical circuit, complete circuit, components, cell, battery, positive/negative, connect/connection, loose connection, short circuit, bright/dim, switch, conductor, insulator, voltage, current, resistance

Session 5 Electric workshop action

Objectives

Start putting your ideas and research into action as you create your electric art. But don’t forget that you need to be able to explain the science behind the beauty!

Science Objectives
i) Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit
ii) Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
iii) Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Other Curriculum Areas
D&T: Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through to creation of a prototype; Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks accurately; Select from and use a wider range of materials and components, according to their functional properties and aesthetic qualities; Evaluate ideas and products against design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work; Understand and use electrical systems in their products

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • General cost details
  • Presentation prompts


Additional Resources

  • Electrical equipment
  • Range of materials and tools for design features (see materials requests from Session 4)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To build a working circuit (Yr5&6).
  • To explain how components work (Yr5&6), including resistance (Yr6).
  • To select appropriate batteries for specific effects (Yr5&6).

Activities

  1. Create a working electrical prototype and identify possible improvements (Yr5&6)
  2. Effectively use appropriate materials, tools and equipment (Yr5&6)
  3. Explain clearly how components work (Yr5&6), including resistance (Yr6)
  4. Explain clearly the effect that different voltages have on components in a circuit (Yr5&6)

Investigation
Electrical Workshop Action. Start putting your ideas and research into action as you create your electric art. But don’t forget that you need to be able to explain the science behind the beauty! (Problem solving, Exploring, Fair testing, Classifying and identifying, Observing over time, Analysing secondary sources, Pattern seeking)
Years 5&6 - Create a working electrical prototype and identify possible improvements
Years 5&6 - Explain clearly how components work (including resistance - Y6) and the effect that different voltages have on the components


Vocabulary
Electrical circuit, complete circuit, circuit diagram & symbol, components, cell, battery, positive/negative, terminal, connect/connection, loose connection, short circuit, wire, crocodile clip, bulb, bright/dim, switch, buzzer, volume, motor, fast(er)/slow(er), conductor, insulator, metal/non-metal, voltage, current, resistance

Session 6 Electrical art installation

Objectives

It’s time for some final tweaks before exhibiting your work. You will need to impress the NSAA with your scientific know-how and the rigorous testing processes you have adopted. Good luck!

Science Objectives
i) Associate the brightness of a lamp or the volume of a buzzer with the number and voltage of cells used in the circuit
ii) Compare and give reasons for variations in how components function, including the brightness of bulbs, the loudness of buzzers and the on/off position of switches
ii) Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram

Working Scientifically

  1. Reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms
  2. Identifying scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments

Other Curriculum Areas
D&T: Evaluate ideas and products against design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work; Understand and use electrical systems in their products

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Presentation prompts
  • Sample copy for art installation
  • Exhibitions and photo examples
  • NSAA questions


Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • To present findings from prior investigations through presentation (Yr5&6).

Activities

  1. Demonstrate how their electric art works and link their circuits to their diagrams (Yr5&6)
  2. Link findings from previous electrical investigations to their circuits (Yr5&6)
  3. Outline how their design meets all success criteria (Yr5&6)
  4. Demonstrate electrical knowledge and skills through presentation (Yr5&6)

Investigation
Electrical Art Installation. It’s time for some final tweaks before exhibiting your work. You will need to impress the NSAA with your scientific know-how and the rigorous testing processes you have adopted. Good luck! (Problem solving, Pattern seeking)
Years 5&6 - Demonstrate how their electric art works and link their circuits to their diagrams
Years 5&6 - Link findings from previous electrical investigations to their circuits
Years 5&6 - Demonstrate electrical knowledge and skills through presentation


Vocabulary
Electricity, appliances/device, electrical circuit, complete circuit, circuit diagram, circuit symbol, components, cell, battery, positive/negative, terminal, connect/connection, loose connection, short circuit, wire, crocodile clip, bulb, bright/dim, switch, buzzer, volume, motor, fast(er)/slow(er), conductor, insulator, metal/non-metal, voltage, current, resistance