published by
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
supported by
the International Business Machines

This lesson plan for Grades 8-12 promotes understanding of Ohm's Law. It combines hands-on circuit construction with data capture and best-fit data plotting tasks. It was specifically designed to help students connect algebraic concepts with the physical quantities of voltage and current -- an area of documented student difficulty. Required lab materials include AA batteries (4 per group), digital multimeter, lamp holder, 47-ohm and 100-ohm resistors, light bulbs, and wires.

The lesson follows a module format that includes objectives and learner outcomes, problem sets, student guides, recommended reading, illustrated procedures, worksheets, and background information about the engineering connections. This resource is part of TryEngineering.org, maintained by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Editor's Note:See Related Materials for links to two closely-related circuit labs by TryEngineering. One lab introduces voltage dividers and the other explores differences between series and parallel circuits.

6-8: 4G/M4. Electrical circuits require a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass.

8. The Designed World

8C. Energy Sources and Use

6-8: 8C/M4. Electrical energy can be generated from a variety of energy resources and can be transformed into almost any other form of energy. Electric circuits are used to distribute energy quickly and conveniently to distant locations.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships

6-8: 9B/M3. Graphs can show a variety of possible relationships between two variables. As one variable increases uniformly, the other may do one of the following: increase or decrease steadily, increase or decrease faster and faster, get closer and closer to some limiting value, reach some intermediate maximum or minimum, alternately increase and decrease, increase or decrease in steps, or do something different from any of these.

9-12: 9B/H4. Tables, graphs, and symbols are alternative ways of representing data and relationships that can be translated from one to another.

9-12: 9B/H5. When a relationship is represented in symbols, numbers can be substituted for all but one of the symbols and the possible value of the remaining symbol computed. Sometimes the relationship may be satisfied by one value, sometimes by more than one, and sometimes not at all.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation

9-12: 12B/H2. Find answers to real-world problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas and check the answer by reviewing the steps of the calculation and by judging whether the answer is reasonable.

9-12: 12B/H4. Use computer spreadsheet, graphing, and database programs to assist in quantitative analysis of real-world objects and events.

9-12: 12B/H9. Consider the possible effects of measurement errors on calculations.

<a href="http://www.thephysicsfront.org/items/detail.cfm?ID=12240">International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010.</a>

TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2006), <http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=18>.

TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law. (2010, December 4). Retrieved July 29, 2014, from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=18

International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010. http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=18 (accessed 29 July 2014).

TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2006. 4 Dec. 2010. International Business Machines. 29 July 2014 <http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=18>.

@misc{
Title = {TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law},
Publisher = {Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers},
Volume = {2014},
Number = {29 July 2014},
Month = {December 4, 2010},
Year = {2006}
}

%T TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law %D December 4, 2010 %I Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers %U http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=18 %O application/pdf

%0 Electronic Source %D December 4, 2010 %T TryEngineering: Get Connected With Ohm's Law %I Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers %V 2014 %N 29 July 2014 %8 December 4, 2010 %9 application/pdf %U http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=18

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This resource is an extension activity for students who have completed an introductory lab on Ohm's Law. It explores voltage dividers, a type of linear circuit that can produce wide ranges of output voltages.

A less advanced lab for beginners or younger students that introduces simple and parallel circuits in an inquiry-based lab that emphasizes engineering design.