Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Got One Working

Just this year, I learned about paper circuitry and I've been trying to find ways to use it in my math classes.  Before I do it in class, I'm going to make sure I know what I'm doing.  

For my first project, I decided to try creating a circuit to illustrate several points on the line y = 3/4X - 5.  I ended up with a parallel circuit with 5 major points on the line.  I used small LED's to light the points such as (0, -5) or (4, -2).

Once I got the circuit set up on construction paper, I placed the graph paper over the circuit and it lit nicely.  I did poke holes in the graph paper, so the lights fit through the paper and shown better.

 Tonight, I tried setting up a blinky slider series circuit for a two simultaneous linear equations.  I got the circuit built but nothing is happening.  I'm not sure what is wrong but I may try it again using parallel circuits to see if that would work better.

Do I know what I'm doing?  No, that is why I'm experimenting to see what works and what doesn't.  I may not be able to get the blinky slider working with this many LED's on it.  I don't know if I got it all set up properly but I'm not giving up.  I want to create a whole selection of these activities to integrate into my class next year to show students that Math does not always have to be figuring everything out on paper and that is it.

Before I started this linear equation, I had to choose  the equation of the line I wanted to create.  I needed a table of points for reference and then I had to figure out where everything went on the graph paper and on the construction paper.  I got it to work the first time.  But when I moved to trying to set up a systems of equations so the lights for the points for an X value would blink together before the next points and so on, I ran into trouble. 

I tried a series which is just not working so I think I'm going to retry it using a parallel to see if I can get it to work showing all the points at once.  Then I can try it again with the moving lights.  First step is to redo part of the circuit to see if I can get it working as is.  If not then I'll go back to the drawing board.

The other thought behind using paper circuits is to see if I can help build perseverance in the students who like to give up as soon as they think its too hard.  I admit that when it comes to electronics, I often put things off to the side while my mind works things out and the same applies to math.  I have to let my mind percolate.  Perhaps, I need to help my students learn to let things simmer in their minds until they figure out a method of attack.

I'm off to work on the circuit to see if I can get it working. As soon as I get it working, I will let you know and share the final product with you.  Have a good day.