Posts from experience and class activities
Our next project was building flashlights. The first step and most important was creating the diagram. First we made the scale. One box equaled 1/2 inch. After experimenting, I came up with my design. I measured and drew the dimensions. Then I drew the wires, switch, and battery. After I showed it to Mr. Calvert, I cut my straight pvc pipe. The next step was measuring and cutting my wires. To do that, you take a wire and line it up with your diagram. Then you make a bend where the wire you drew ends. You straighten the wire but not the bend. Then you measure it. Next, I took the coil of wires and measured them so I knew how much to cut. Once I had my wires, I made little hooks on the edges. The next step was drilling my holes for the LED light and switch. We used a drill press to drill the holes through the pvc pipes. After that, I had to solder my wires together to make my circuit. First I took the LED light and made a dogleg on the anode (longer) side. Then I soldered my positive (red) and negative (black) wires to the battery holder, switch, and LED light. When Mr. Calvert approved, he stuck the LED light and switch through the holes of my pvc pipes. I put together the rest of the flashlight and decorated it. Then it was done.
Today, we learned about how to check the voltage of a battery, what is affected by the voltage, and how circuits work.
We learned how to use a digital multimeter to check the voltage. You put the red (positive) side on the positive side of the battery, and you put the black (negative) side on the negative side of the battery. We learned how you use a different setting depending on the voltage.
After we learned about voltage, we started talking about circuits and how to build one. I already knew a little about circuits because my elementary school had a maker space where they explained circuits. Also, my brother used to have this really fun toy where you had a bunch of pieces, and you connected them to a board in order to get it to do what you wanted it to do. You could make a fan, light, etc.
First, we played a game where you would have to make a circuit out of wires, a light bulb, a battery, and a switch. It was pretty easy. Then we turned up the voltage on the battery and it went on fire. We learned to use a resistor to prevent that and you could make it more ohms to resist more. The harder part was making two separate paths for two separate light bulbs, so if you turned off the switch, only one would go out. Just like how you would want to buy the Christmas lights that didn’t all go out if only one was broken.
The circuits we made were different and cool. We took wires that were open at the edges so you could use the conductive metal, a battery pack, a switch, and a lightbulb. Then we put it all together. There were three screws on the switch. You had to unscrew two of them a little bit. Then you put the metal part of the wire under the screws and tightened them. Then you did the same thing for attaching the other side of the wire to the light bulb. To make the circuit work, you turn on the battery and flip the switch. Then the light bulb lights up.