Teaching Logic and Reasoning with Snap Circuits
Snap Circuits are a hands-on "toy" designed for kids to learn about electricty, circuits, sound, and light. Kids follow instructions to create a wide range of functioning circuits.
The only source of knowledge is experience.by Albert Einstein
We use Snap Circuits for kids to not only learn about electricity, but to teach them logic, reasoning and problem solving.
Teach Logic and Reasoning Through Snap Circuits
- Snap Circuit kits
We usually assign 1-4 kids per set. It works best in pairs though. Instructions are provided in each Snap Circuit kit and they do a great job of explaining the projects. There are pictures that are easy to understand too.
Before the first experience with Snap Circuits, we work with the kids to give them a brief overview of electricity and circuits. We explain how electricity flows and the need for a positive and a negative. There is also discussion about what happens when you have two positives or two negatives. Some time is also spent briefly on open and closed circuits.
With primary grades, our discussions are very basic. We discuss what a light needs to turn on (a positive and a negative). Then we talk about where we can get that energy (the battery).
For the first experience, I like for the kids to build a basic light. They'll need a battery and the light module. I ask them to make it light up. Once the kids start building, they will run into problems. This is when you discuss why. What does it need? Where does it get that? Show me.
As the kids progress, we'll move into the book and they'll have more freedom. Each time something doesn't work, we go through the same questions. We want to build up their understanding as well as develop their own troubleshooting skills.
Before long, the kids will be able to troubleshoot their own projects.
Throughout the year, the kids will create more complicated projects. For a fun assessment, have the kids build from teacher specs. "Today I want to see who can build a light that turns on with a switch while the fan continues to run."
While the electricity part is fun, and the kids do learn about circuits, it's the logic and reasoning that truly blossoms through the Snap Circuits kits.