Week 7 – Lets get wired

Published by Graham Gadd on

Lets Get Wired

If you were asked to drive from Austin to Dallas, or Houston to San Antonio, you would choose the right route for your trip, get in the car and drive. Our cities have built a grid of roads that allow us to get from one place to another. Well, just like cars moving in a network of roads, electricity moves in a network of wires. We are surrounded by networks of wires that make things work.

This week’s lesson is all about wires and how they connect us.



All About Circuits
Circuit Building 101
BEST resources
A Simple Guide to Electronic Components


In order for the air conditioning in your school to work, electrical energy is needed. That energy can come from a variety of sources. Wires are connected to some type of power source – be it a battery or electrical outlet –to make things work. Think of the things you use and the places you visit that rely on electricity to work. List these items and reflect on how electricity impacts our world.


All the places and items in the list above have wires. These wires are connected in a certain way to make electricity flow and make things work, as part of something called a circuit. 

See the source image

There’s many factors you need to include when designing circuits.

In this week’s activity, you’ll create several circuits using free software. DigiKey is a great resource.

The purpose of the activity is to play with circuit schematic/drawing programs?  There are many symbols to represent various components. The schematic (i.e., circuit drawing) represents these electrical components and how they are interconnected by wires.  For the activity, play around with these schematic capture tools to create the following circuits (and some of your own designs):

– battery & lamp

– battery & switch & lamp

– battery & switch & dimmer (i.e., variable resistor/ potentiometer) & lamp


It may seem farfetched, but you never know when you’ll need to build a circuit – in school, during work or at home!

BEST Connection

Take a look inside your BEST kit. In order for your robot to work, it needs an energy source to provide power. Take a look at the objects and tools in your kit and see if you could set up a circuit to power your robot. This activity is great for newcomers and veteran BEST competitors alike – everyone could use a refresher on how to wire the robot in order to make it move.

If you don’t have a kit, go to the BEST website and review photos of the kit. What can you see that would support in the process of building a circuit? Can you see how things are wired?

Community Connection

Do you know how your house is wired, or where it gets its energy from? Draw a diagram showing where the source of the energy is located and how it gets passed through your house.

For example: There could be a hydroelectric plan that converts the water flow to electricity that then gets used by the homes in the area.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy: create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, use, and write

Workforce Skills

Critical thinking, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing, researchWould you consider this type of getaway as living off the grid?

My Personal Journal

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