Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Measuring voltage and current in a DC circuit part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students frequently confuse how to measure voltage and current in an electrical circuit. In part, students may not understand how a multi-meter measures voltage and current. With such conceptual issues at hand, many students record circuit data that has been measured incorrectly especially in an initial circuits laboratory setting. Incorrect data then prevent these students from seeing the patterns that exist among parallel and series circuit measurements of current and voltage. This demonstration allows the instructor to model measuring voltage and current in a lab but using a virtual circuit simulator that can be displayed on a screen in any size classroom via an LCD projector and computer. Therefore, such a demonstration can be executed from within an instructor's Power Point presentation in the classroom and can include student interaction with the instructor as circuit measurement is explored. The activities are designed to enable students to correctly measure voltage and current in a simple-circuit laboratory or using a circuit simulator such as PhET.
Motion Concepts: Displacement, velocity, & acceleration graphs part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students often struggle with motion concepts. These activities focus on the graphical representations of displacement, velocity, and acceleration given a number of situations of an object moving along the x-axis. These activities are based upon asking students to determine appropriate graphical representations in a variety of settings. After an initial vote (via clickers, raising hands, etc), students should pair up and discuss before re-voting. The PhET simulation "The Moving Man," downloadable for free at http://phet.colorado.edu/web-pages/simulations-base.html, allows the instructor to setup the situation and have real-time graphs displayed as the man moves. Therefore, concepts can be demonstrated in a variety of settings during class-time. These activities are appropriate before or after similar investigations in the laboratory for all levels of students investigating motion.