Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching Practical Science: Physics. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds So a lot of time in physics, which is kind of a regular occurrence, when we do circuits, often you get bulbs, batteries, wires– anything that you can use is often broken. So the kids get going. And then it’s miss, I can’t fix this bulb, and this circuit won’t work. And I’ll go over and check, and everything looks fine. And it comes to a point where you just end up wasting time. So at that point, I’ve already got one set up at the front for me to then do a demonstration with the kids. And they’re still writing all of their results down in the books. But instead of them doing it individually, we do it as a class.

Skip to 0 minutes and 36 seconds They do all the readings and change the circuit. I get people to come up and help. But instead of having to fix 15 different problems in a room, there’s just one circuit for us all to be focused on.

When circuits go wrong

There may be some circuits that are not functioning, either due to an error in the set-up or through faulty components. We discuss how you could use this as an opportunity for assessment in the next step.

However, there may be cases when it is best to come together as a group and focus on one circuit only, for example: when equipment is limited; when you want all students to concentrate on a particular point; or if it becomes apparent that too many groups are struggling with the equipment and it has become a barrier to their learning.

Alice talks about this in the video above.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Practical Science: Physics

National STEM Learning Centre