Parallel circuits require a more complex mathematical approach than series circuits. What we want our students to focus on are the characteristics and values for current, resistance and voltage. But, when you build live labs, they spend all their time troubleshooting the bulbs, batteries and loose connections...
This lab allows students to build and test parallel and complex circuits in an inquiry based process using the PHET simulations on PHET.colorado.edu. Student can do this in the computer lab alone or or in partners, you can drive it from your computer as a class activity using an LCD projector, or you can let students drive it using a Smart Board.
The lab includes student documents, a key, and a class quiz. It was written for all levels of physics but should be appropriate to GET as low as 7th grade if you cover the formulas prior to the lab.
Keywords: electricity, eletrostatics, electron, current, potential difference, voltage, volt, ampere, ohm, resistance, equivalent, series, parallel, combination, Kirchoff, Ohm's law, physics, experiment, simulation, laboratory, lab, STEM, GTE