Modeling Resistance

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Introduction

Resistors in an electrical circuit are made of graphite and resin. In this activity students will model resistors in an electrical circuit using graphite art pencils and graph paper. Students will draw lines of graphite on the graph paper and measure the electrical resistance with a digital volt ohm meter (VOM). Students will discover the relationship between the length of the lines and the electrical resistance and the width of the lines and the electrical resistance. These relationships are the basis for the equations that the students will use to calculate total resistance in a series and parallel circuit.

Lesson Time 2 Class Periods

Resistor Execution Introduction
10 Minutes
Instructions
10 Minutes
Modeling Activity
60 Minutes
Debrief/ Assessment
20 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Engineering & Architecture Engineering & Architecture

Standards and Objectives

Standards

California Academic Content Standards (6)
California's 2008 CTE Standards (5)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will correctly measure the resistance of a graphite line with a VOM.
  • Students will produce a graph of the relationship between the length of a graphite line and the resistance of that line.
  • Students will produce a graph of the relationship between the width of a graphite line and the resistance of that line.

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