Recently, third graders at Douglas Elementary worked to create simple circuits as part of their science unit about electricity.  “Students collaborated with partners to figure out a path in a complete circuit that would accomplish the task of lighting a light bulb with a battery”, third-grade teacher Windie Burton explained.  No demonstration was given about how to create the circuit, but rather, students had to use their prior knowledge about electricity to figure out how to power the light bulb.  After experimenting with various solutions, students eventually completed the simple circuits, bringing the light bulbs to life.  In addition to powering the light bulb, students had to describe the path a draw a model of their successful complete circuit.

After discovering how to make the simple circuit work, students have now set goals to make a complex circuit work, and are eager to begin that experiment.  Jaelyn Gill said, “Making the simple circuit was awesome.  I can’t wait until we get to make two light bulbs turn on with the complex circuit.”

Hands-on science experiments such as this one provide key enrichment to elementary school students.  This experiment provided students with opportunities to communicate effectively with their partners, work collaboratively to explore new concepts, self-monitor to reach an accurate solution and reflect upon their learning.  These opportunities are essential to growing world class citizens for tomorrow’s society.

Third-graders Carter Boatwright and Jaliyah Hill work to complete the complete simple circuit.