15 December 2020

Our third set of CPD videos, covering electrical circuits for ages 11-19, is now live!

Electrical circuits are essential in everyday life, but students often find them challenging. In these videos, we look at ways to make links between the microscopic level of charged particles and macroscopic observations. We use several models of electric circuits, highlighting where care is needed and these models break down.

Learning about electrical circuits is a highly practical activity. We provide tips to trouble-shoot tricky circuits and ideas for purposeful practical work. There are also suggestions for more successful setups when investigating more complex circuits. Through models and practical work, we discuss how to introduce the relationship between voltage, current and resistance in a quantitative way. Finally, we delve more deeply into some of the other mathematical concepts needed from 14 years onward including internal resistance and potential dividers.

Meet the presenters

Image of Electricity CPD videos coaches

(Left to right) Alan Denton, Carole Kenrick, Dan Cottle, Eleanor Wylie, Jessica Rowson, John Parsons, Mark Walley, Niloufar Wijetunge, Terri Ghoneim.

Charge and Static (11 – 14 years)

Carole explains why it’s helpful to teach about charge and static before we teach simple circuits, and demonstrates the use of visual representations for developing students’ understanding.

Using models to explain simple circuits (11 – 14 years)

In this video Dan, Niloufar and Carole demonstrate a range of teaching models that can be used to help students understand simple circuits, and consider the benefits and limitations of each.

Exploring circuits practically (11 – 14 years)

Eleanor and Jessica discuss the importance of practical work in circuit pedagogy and suggest some tips for purposeful practicals.

What is voltage? (11 – 16 years)

Eleanor discusses the concept of electrical potential and explains how a potential difference can force electrons to move around a circuit.

Storytelling: the people behind the physics (11 – 19 years)

Carole shares fascinating stories about the people behind the physics we teach, demonstrating some historical experiments, and highlights the importance of considering representation when we chose which physicists we teach students about.

Factors that affect resistance (required practical) (14 – 16 years)

Jessica looks at the factors that affect the resistance of a wire and discusses some practical set ups for investigations in the classroom.

GCSE Circuit equipment and I-V graphs (14 – 16 years)

Terri and John take you through the key issues in the required practicals for investigating IV characteristics for resistors, filaments lamps and diodes.

Potential dividers (16 – 19 years)

Alan shows a way of teaching potential dividers using mini-whiteboards that can help students to answer challenging qualitative questions.

EMF and internal resistance (16 – 19 years)

Alan looks at how we can calculate experimental values for EMF and Internal Resistances, and how students can understand the equation.






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