Electricity

Science Year 6 Electric Celebrations

Dare you enter the Dragons’ Den and market your very own inventive festive lights decoration? Use motors, switches, bulbs and buzzers to make your product the stand-out choice of the dragons.

Session 1 Electrical festive challenge

Objectives

Take part in a Dragons’ Den briefing session and learn about the challenges that lie ahead as designers of festive lights and decorations with an electric buzz.

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. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Report and present 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.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • 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

  • Plan electric circuit investigations to consolidate current electrical knowledge
  • Establish current understanding of electricity and approaches to working scientifically
  • Develop success criteria based on design brief

Activities

  1. Plan and carry out a series of simple electrical circuit investigations
  2. Identify current electrical knowledge and areas to explore further
  3. Create success criteria for their Dragons’ Den electrical challenge

Investigation
Investigate a range of simple electric circuit challenges (planning/fair testing/exploring)

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

Objectives

Using your planning meeting outcomes from Session 1 to set up some exploratory circuits 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. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  4. Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.

Extended Writing Opportunity
Explanation: Carry out a series of enquiries that explore the effects of voltage on electrical circuit components and write up your findings, causal relationships and explanations in a written report.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Enquiry questions - ‘What if’ cards
  • Sample circuit diagrams

Additional resources

  • Electrical circuit sets
  • Range of festive lights
  • Images of decorations

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Set up a series of enquiries that explore electrical circuits and various effects.
  • Record findings in tables and graphs.
  • Investigate examples of festive lights, identifying key features.
  • Develop ideas and circuits that reflect the design success criteria.

Activities

  1. Carry out a series of enquiries that explore the effects of voltage on electrical circuit components.
  2. Record and present results graphically.
  3. Look at examples of festive lights and list key features.
  4. Create annotated drawings to represent their design ideas.

Investigation - exploring, fair testing, pattern seeking
Investigate the effects of voltage and number of components on a working circuit.

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 and circuit diagrams

Objectives

Your team needs to show that it has 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. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels.
  2. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Identify from circuit diagrams those circuits that will or won’t work.
  • Draw an accurate circuit diagram.
  • Research and explain why electrical components behave as they do in terms of resistance.
  • Feed back on others’ designs.
  • Use feedback to improve their own design.
  • Understand how electrical components in their design work to the desired effect.

Activities

  1. Draw a circuit diagram with a summary of the brightness, volume and speed of components within it.
  2. Annotate their circuit diagram with explanations of the role of resistance in making components work.
  3. Feed back on other’s designs.
  4. Use feedback to improve their design.

Investigation - exploring, analysing secondary sources
Explore resistance through the use of various components.
Draw circuit diagrams.

Vocabulary
Electricity, electrical 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

Session 4 Create a dimmer switch

Objectives

The dragons have added in a last minute design tweak - can you develop and include a dimmer switch into 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.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • 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

  • Investigate, design and make a dimmer switch.
  • Describe how a dimmer switch affects resistance.
  • Incorporate a dimmer switch into their design.
  • Identify materials and tools required to make a prototype.

Activities

  1. Investigate and develop a dimmer switch.
  2. Identify materials and tools for their design.

Investigation - problem solving, exploring
Design and make a dimmer switch.

Vocabulary
Electricity, appliances/device, electrical circuit, complete circuit, 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 5 Create festive lights prototype

Objectives

Start putting your ideas and research into action as you create your festive lights and decorations.

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. Report and present 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. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • 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 request forms from Session 4)

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Build a working circuit.
  • Explain how components work.
  • Select appropriate batteries.
  • Create a prototype of their design.
  • Use working electrical systems within their prototype.
  • Use tools and materials effectively in their prototype, adapting as they work.

Activities

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

Investigation - exploring, problem solving
Design and create a light decoration circuit.

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

Session 6 Entering the dragons' den

Objectives

It’s time for some final tweaks before entering the Dragons’ Den. You will need to impress the dragons 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.

iii) Use recognised symbols when representing a simple circuit in a diagram.

Working Scientifically

  1. Report and present 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. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Other Curriculum Areas
Design and Technology

  • 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.

Extended Writing Opportunity
Persuasive writing: Write up the research and development of your festive lights decoration in order to persuade the Dragons that yours is the best.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Presentation prompts,
  • Sample copy for festive lights and photo examples
  • Dragon questions

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Present findings from prior investigations through presentation.
  • Evaluate and make improvements on prototype.
  • Present a working prototype, explaining how it works and how it meets the design criteria.

Activities

  1. Demonstrate how their decoration works and to link their circuits to their diagrams.
  2. Link findings from previous electrical investigations to their circuits.
  3. Outline how their design meets all success criteria.
  4. 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