Blog post #3: Tour of the Floorplan & Core Competencies Self Assessment

Communication competency: This floorplan demonstrates strength and growth in communication, because there was a lot of listening and conversations in my group to get the circuits to work.  We asked each other questions and helped each other to make our circuit and do our calculations.  I can develop my communication competency more by asking more questions when I am unclear of something we are doing in a project, and ask for help when I need it from teachers.

Thinking competencies: This floorplan demonstrates strength and growth in thinking, because my group decided which circuit / floorplan to use by looking at the artistic and practical parts of it.  We used critical thinking when we were analyzing each circuit and choosing the one that would work the best & would be the easiest to use by someone who would own this apartment.  We also used critical thinking when we were experimenting on the series circuit to make it work.  We used creative thinking and took the aesthetics of the floorplans into consideration for deciding which one to use. I can improve my thinking competency by not being afraid to experiment with the circuit and try different approaches to fixing it when something doesn’t work.

Personal and social competencies: This floorplan demonstrates strength and growth in personal and social competencies, because I was able to use my own knowledge to make my floorplan and the knowledge of others to construct the circuit.  For my personal competencies, I demonstrated growth when I trusted my understanding of building a series circuit and still asked for help when I didn’t fully understand the parallel circuit.  For my social competencies, I demonstrated strength when I explained to my group members how my circuits worked and answered any questions they had about mine in a peaceful and informative way.  I can develop both my personal and social competencies by being in more group projects with people I haven’t worked with before, so that I can see how I work with others and how it affects me personally.


Day 4: Completing the circuits, measuring voltage & current, calculations


T & M – Yesterday, we were having problems with our series circuit.  So, we were thinking of what could make the circuit work perfectly.  We tried adding more copper tape, securing the light bulbs & batteries more, tried pushing down the switch in case it wasn’t touching, positioning the light bulb differently, and taking away copper tape.  Eventually, I tried putting more copper tape on top of the battery like we did for the parallel circuit which we made without problems earlier in the class.  Adding the extra copper tape made it work.

I – We added the extra copper tape on top of the battery and secured the light bulb, battery, and brass snaps with regular tape.  We tested the two circuits and both of them finally worked.  As you can see in the pictures, we made sure that each light could be controlled independently on the parallel circuit.

After playing around with the circuit and finishing it, we used a voltmeter and ammeter to find the voltage and current.  The current had to be recorded in milli-amperes because its current was small.  At home, I used the formulas I learned in class to calculate the resistance and power for the “Questions you should answer”.  I also finished the other questions on there, and all of them are posted on this blog post.  I learned that testing different ways to make the circuit worked helped me learn about circuits.

Day 3: Constructing the circuits for the diagram


TMI – Today, my group chose which floor plan/ circuit to use and we started building the circuits.  We chose my floor plan and circuit.  We went off of the criteria that the floor plan should look nice, the circuit should work and be tested on PhET, and the circuits should not require too much copper tape.  My group voted that we should use mine, because the circuit worked and the only thing we needed to fix were the charges on the battery.  We decided to make the series circuit first.  We cut out the pieces of copper tape and “constructed” the circuit without taping anything to get a spark.  Once we got one, we constructed the circuit.  At first, the negative prong on the LED light was in the wrong place, so we flipped the light.  Then, we tested the circuit again and found that when we apply a lot of pressure to the battery, brass snap, and LED light prongs is the only time the circuit works.  For tomorrow, we are going to start early to tape down those three parts securely so that the copper tape touches everything it needs to for the light to work easily. We will also create the parallel circuit and do calculations.

Day 2: Floor Plan Circuit Assignment

Day 2 (TMI) :

Today I edited the circuits and coloured the floor plan.  I already put the furniture on the diagram the day before.  I indicated what each piece of furniture is with labels.  I used colours that I would like to see if I had my own studio apartment.  The biggest change I made was the location of the switches in the circuits.  Now, the switches are on the wall, but appear very close to the wall in my circuit for clarity of where the circuit is.  I changed my parallel circuit, so that each light would be controlled independently.  One part of my parallel circuit that I find interesting is how one of the switches and a conducting wire are very close to each other.  I talked to my teacher about this and it seemed to be the only way to get my circuit to work.  Though, I still made an effort to use a small amount of conducting wires, so that we use less materials when actually constructing the circuit. I fine lined the furniture, but I am going to check with my teacher tomorrow to check if my circuits are right so I can fine line them as well.  I also moved the lights slightly so that the rooms would be lit effectively.  The circuits overlap with the furniture because the lights are ceiling lights.  I did shading around the furniture to add more contrast between the furniture and the floor.

Blog Post #1 for House Project: Design and Rationale (Day 1)

My floor plan is a studio apartment design, so it has no walls inside other than bathroom walls.  I put the series circuit inside the bathroom because it’s a small room, so it only needs one light.  Also, I put a window in the bathroom which gives more light.  I made the series circuit only have one light bulb, because no other light bulbs will be turned off when the switch is open.  I put my parallel circuit by the bed and couch, because those two areas are closest to the door and will receive the least amount of natural light.  That area does not have any walls separating the bedroom and living room, so putting them at a bit of a distance would help evenly disperse where the light goes instead of having two light bulbs beside each other ; that would only light up one area and it would be an overwhelming amount of light.  I used a parallel circuit for this area so that you can choose which light you want left on or off.  For example, if the bedroom area wasn’t in use, you could turn just that light off and still read on the couch with the living room bulb on.  I didn’t put any lights by the kitchen or dining room area because there are already two windows and some of the light from the living room bulbs might go there.