Electricity STEM Challenge (Series Circuits and Parallel Circuits)

The Owl Teacher
Grade Levels
3rd - 6th
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Activity
21 pages
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The Owl Teacher
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device. Easel by TpT is free to use! Learn more.


This electricity STEM Challenge is a hands-on investigation of series and parallel circuits that encourages application of what students know about current electricity while they design and create light-up vests for road crew workers.

In this activity, students will work through the engineering process by brainstorming, planning, designing, and carrying out their plans to design a light-up vest for road crew workers who work at night. The vests need to light up with both a series circuit and a parallel circuit. Since it is a STEM challenge, students will test their designs, reflect, and possibly have to rework them.

Check out the preview for details!

This STEM Challenge Covers:

✓ Current electricity

✓ Making closed, complete circuits

✓ The components of current electricity (battery cell, wires, resistor/bulb)

✓ Series circuit

✓ Parallel circuit

✓ The engineering process

With This STEM Challenge, You’ll Get:

✓ Non-fiction reading piece to help build the background knowledge of the teacher and/or the student

✓ Engaging introduction to the STEM activity and problem

✓ Higher level thinking, problem solving skills, and cooperative learning

✓ Troubleshooting tips, extension ideas, and other helpful hints to make this smooth

✓ Practice sheet (printable sort)

✓ Anchor chart

✓ Detailed teacher information

✓ Reflection questions and grading rubric

.… and so much more!

Materials Used

• large brown grocery bag

• button batteries

• copper tape

• electrical tape

• LED bulbs

• markers

• scissors

Most of these materials are linked, in the product, to where I purchased them on Amazon for relatively inexpensive prices in large quantities.

How You Can Use This Unit:

✓ Broken up over several days

✓ As a supplement to an already established program

✓ Science centers

✓ Whole group, small group, partners, or individual work

✓ Enrichment activities

Other Related Products You May Enjoy:

Current Electricity Tabbed Booklet

Electricity Lesson Plan Unit

Final Notes:

If you see ANYTHING that needs modifying, or if you have any questions, please contact me via the Q&A. I take my product creation and your satisfaction very seriously! Thanks!

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Don’t Miss Out!

These lessons are perfect for the growth mindset classroom!

This STEM challenge aligns with NGSS for electricity and engineering standards! Help your students become problem solvers!

This STEM challenge is detailed, full of pictures, background information, extension ideas, troubleshooting tips, and much more! I have even linked where to find the materials needed for this activity. (Though, you may find them cheaper elsewhere.)

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©Tammy DeShaw, The Owl Teacher. All rights reserved. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for teachers, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Teachers may NOT upload the product to school/district servers, or to any website, or share digital or print copies. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Total Pages
21 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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