In this lab student set up a single circuit with two batteries and four bulbs; two that are in series and two that are in parallel. When the circuit is closed, students are typically surprised and puzzled especially if they’ve done investigations into series and parallel circuits. Only by using the voltmeter and measuring what’s going on in each major portion of the circuit do they begin to understand what’s happening. This is a great culminating lab to do following a study of circuits. 

 

This activity provides more experience with series and parallel circuits and digs into the underlying processes of each. Students are asked to draw a simple circuit diagram showing their setup. 

 

Concepts Addressed

♦ Parallel and series portions of circuits differ dramatically in their potential difference 

♦ Lights need a given amount of power (voltage) to shine 

♦ Lights do not need to be shining to transmit a current

 

Materials Needed

4 twinkle lights, 3 alligator clips, 2 1.5V batteries, 2 battery holders

 

Materials Needed

10 twinkle lights, 4 alligator clips, 4 1.5V batteries, 4 battery holders

 

Time Required This lab takes about 40 mins. 

 

Student Sheets • Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 

Combining Series and Parallel Circuits — A Hands-on Lab Activity

$3.00Price

    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

     

    This resource (along with all resources sold on this site) can be found inside the membership. For information on that option, click here.

    Terms of Use   Copyright © Carolyn Balch. All rights reserved by the author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.