TTM Collaborative

The One Where We Build A Light Sensing Circuit!

Our goals for the second lab consisted of guiding students conceptually through the construction of a light sensing circuit, and through it physical assembly. We hoped to provide understanding of how a simple electric circuit would perform the required goal of measuring light. In addition, we provided a review of the previous classes material to aid in the students understanding of the biological processes present within their Monstrariums.


During the Lab we were yet again presented with the difficulty of helping the students assemble their circuits on their breadboards. We are still having difficulty over our use of predefined coordinates to guide the students in placing their components. When provided with the breadboard coordinates, all of the students are successful, but we are not convinced that they understand the purpose behind our choices of locations for the electrical components. In the future we plan to spend more time discussing the hydroelectric analogy, and the purpose of a solderless breadboard. We hope that a more functional explanation of the breadboard will allow students to grasp that the coordinates aren’t important, but that the order in which components are connected, and that they are connected, is key to a circuit’s construction.


Light CIrcuit and Monstrarium

This is our light sensing circuit and one of our students Monstrariums.

Ultimately in this lab we want to convey to the students that a circuit is just a connected set of components, and that the breadboard connects components. We want to be able to discuss how the electrical signal flows through and is modified by each component within the circuit, and allow the students to determine the best way to assemble their circuits. We will continue to work on our ability to relate these concepts to the students. After our time together the students left with a greater understanding of how and why they constructed their light sensing circuits.

Nuts and Bolts