Technology Enabled Learning Classroom Catalyst

 

Title: Arduino as a Cheap Variable Power Supply

 

Tech Tool:

 

What is this? This tool shows teachers how to use an arduino as a cheap safe 0-5V power supply for electricity experiments.

 

How do I use this? Link to tech tool how to OR STAO connection to the tech tool

 

Why use this? There are two problems using variable power supplies for electricity experiments. One is cost and one is that you may not want grade 9 students using a power supply that can produce a lot of current. Much like doing microscale experiments in chemistry makes that easy using arduino based electronics on a breadboard makes electricity cheaper and safer.

 

Course Code: SNC1D/1P    SPH3U    SPH4C

 

Topics

Electric Circuits

Timing

preparation: 20 Min

lesson: Varies

  

Specific Expectations:

SNC1D:
A1.1 formulate scientific questions about observed relationships, ideas, problems, and/or issues, make predictions, and/or formulate hypotheses to focus inquiries or research

A1.5 conduct inquiries, controlling some variables, adapting or extending procedures as required, and using standard equipment and materials safely, accurately, and effectively, to collect observations and data

A1.6 gather data from laboratory and other sources, and organize and record the data using appropriate formats, including tables, flow charts, graphs, and/or diagrams

A1.8 analyse and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data to determine whether the evidence supports or refutes the initial prediction or hypothesis, identifying

E2.4 plan and carry out inquiries to determine and compare the conductivity of various materials (e.g., metals, plastics, glass, water) [IP, PR, AI, C]

E2.5 design, draw circuit diagrams of, and construct series and parallel circuits (e.g., a circuit where all light bulbs go out when one light bulb is removed; a circuit that allows one of several light bulbs to be switched on and off independently of the others), and measure electric current I, potential difference V, and resistance R at various points in the circuits, using appropriate instruments and SI units [IP, PR, AI, C]

E2.6 analyse and interpret the effects of adding an identical load in series and in parallel in a simple circuit [AI, C]

E2.7 investigate the quantitative relationships between current, potential difference, and resistance in a simple series circuit [PR, AI]

 

SNC1P

A1.1 formulate scientific questions about observed relationships, ideas, problems, and/or issues, make predictions, and/or formulate hypotheses to focus inquiries or research

A1.5 conduct inquiries, controlling some variables, adapting or extending procedures as required, and using standard equipment and materials safely, accurately, and effectively, to collect observations and data

A1.6 gather data from laboratory and other sources, and organize and record the data using appropriate formats, including tables, flow charts, graphs, and/or diagrams

A1.8 analyse and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data to determine whether the evidence supports or refutes the initial prediction or hypothesis, identifying

E2.4 design, draw circuit diagrams of, and construct simple series and parallel circuits (e.g., circuits with: one light bulb; two light bulbs of the same brightness; one light bulb on and the other light bulb off) [IP, PR, C]

E2.5 compare, on the basis of observation, the differences between series and parallel circuits [PR, AI]

E2.6 use an inquiry process to investigate the effects that changing resistance and changing potential difference have on current in a simple series circuit [PR, AI]

 

SPH3U

A1.1 formulate relevant scientific questions about observed relationships, ideas, problems, or issues, make informed predictions, and/or formulate educated hypotheses to focus inquiries or research

A1.2 select appropriate instruments (e.g., probeware, calorimeters, pendulums, solenoids) and materials (e.g., drag sleds, electric bells, balls, ramps), and identify appropriate methods, techniques, and procedures, for each inquiry

A1.5 conduct inquiries, controlling relevant variables, adapting or extending procedures as required, and using appropriate materials and equipment safely, accurately, and effectively, to collect observations and data

A1.6 compile accurate data from laboratory and other sources, and organize and record the data, using appropriate formats, including tables, flow charts, graphs, and/or diagrams

A1.8 synthesize, analyse, interpret, and evaluate qualitative and/or quantitative data; solve problems involving quantitative data; determine whether the evidence supports or refutes the initial prediction or hypothesis and whether it is consistent with scientific theory; identify sources of bias and/or error; and suggest improvements to the inquiry to reduce the likelihood of error

F2.3 design and build real or computer-simulated mixed direct current (DC) circuits, and explain the circuits with reference to direct current, potential difference, and resistance [PR, C]


 

SPH4C

A1.1 formulate relevant scientific questions about observed relationships, ideas, problems, or issues, make informed predictions, and/or formulate educated hypotheses to focus inquiries or research

A1.2 select appropriate instruments (e.g., electronic probes, pendulums, cylinders) and materials (e.g., motion carts, magnets, simple machines), and identify appropriate methods, techniques, and procedures, for each inquiry

A1.5 conduct inquiries, controlling relevant variables, adapting or extending procedures as required, and using appropriate materials and equipment safely, accurately, and effectively, to collect observations and data

A1.6 compile accurate data from laboratory and other sources, and organize and record the data, using appropriate formats, including tables, flow charts, graphs, and/or diagrams

A1.8 synthesize, analyse, interpret, and evaluate qualitative and/or quantitative data; solve problems using quantitative data; determine whether the evidence supports or refutes the initial prediction or hypothesis and whether it is consistent with scientific theory; identify sources of bias and/or error; and suggest improvements to the inquiry to reduce the likelihood of error

D2.2 construct real and simulated mixed direct current (DC) circuits (i.e., parallel, series, and mixed circuits), and analyse them in quantitative terms to test Kirchhoff’s laws [PR, AI]

D2.3 analyse, in quantitative terms, real or simulated DC circuits and circuit diagrams, using Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s laws [AI]

Introduction

Micro Electronics like the arduino have made doing electronics and robotics experiments within the ability and cost of individuals creating a thriving maker movement


 

Materials

  • Computers with arduino sketches program installed  

  • Arduino board and USB connector

  • Small Prototyping Board

  • Connecting wires

  • Resistors, LEDs, or any other electric loads to test

File_000.jpeg

Teacher Set up

  • Ensure computers have the sketches program installed and FDMI drivers if older operating system.

  • Load code into the arduino and deploy (if not having students do it)

  • Other electrical equipment set out for students

Lesson Plan

 

Description

Time

Instruction on how to connect the arduino and use the serial monitor to change the output voltage.

10 min

Instruction on the layout of prototyping boards and how to use them to make circuits.

10 min

Student work using arduinos to complete electrical labs.

Varies

 

Instructional Strategies

 

x Computers

x Cooperative

x Group Work

x Independent Work

x Questioning

x Hands On Activity

 

 

Assessment Strategies

x Questioning

x Computers

x Conferencing

x Group Assessment

x Observation

x Other:Lab Report

Character Education

 

x Initiative

x Responsibility

Strands

x Knowledge/Understanding

x Thinking/Investigation

xApplication

Learning Skills

x Works Independently

x Teamwork/Collaboration

x Organization

x Work Habits

x Initiative

Resources/Equipment

x Computers/iPads

x Laptop/LCD

x Other:electrical supplies

 

Safety

As with all electrical experiments make sure all wires are in good shape and have no exposed metal. This is low current so there is no electrocution risk but there could be minor burns from  circuits overheating. In addition 5V is enough to destroy a LED so LED’s should always be installed in series with a resistor.

In addition the arduino boards have a built in surge protection so that a short circuit will only cause the arduino to shut down and will not damage the device or create a hazard.

Teaching Suggestions/Hints

This can be used for experiments using resistors in series or parallel, Testing Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff's laws,  or finding the resistance of different loads.

 

It is also a good way to allow discovery based labs as with its microscale design and the arduino’s auto shutoff feature the only possible damage would be to resistors or LED’s and allows a low cost safe way for students to learn the electrical laws by themselves by building circuits of their own design.

 

Next Steps/Extensions/Other Topics for this Tech Tool

 

Next Steps for this lesson can include:

  • The arduinos can also be programmed to measure voltage using the analog inputs in addition to outputting voltage

  • This could also be used using the 3V or 5V output and a 9V battery as a cheap constant power supply if student computers are not available as these ports will work regardless of if there is any code on the arduino.

 

Other topics that can be taught using this tool include:

  • This could be a way to introduce programming to the students as well by having them write the simple code they are using to control the voltage.

  • Senior students with programming experience could create their own programs and more intricate circuits.

Additional Resources

 

Arduino Teacher Handout

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Comments

Peter Cudmore's picture

Final Version of The Technology Enabled Catalyst for the Secondary committee  project.