Lesson 4

An Alarming Idea: Designing Alarm Circuits

Designing an Alarm Circuit / Grade 4 / Lawrence, MA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - An Alarming Idea: Designing Alarm Circuits Lesson 4

Students apply their knowledge of conductors, insulators, and electrical engineering as they imagine, plan, create, test, and improve an alarm circuit.

Reflection Questions

What do you notice about the way George introduces the lesson?

George’s introduction focuses students’ attention on the lesson’s purpose and how students will benefit from it.

  • George provides context for the lesson by reminding students of the problem that Emily is trying to solve. (0:30)
  • Next, George uses the smartboard to review what students have already learned about electrical engineering. (0:47)
  • Finally, George previews the goals of today’s activities and posts the guiding question for today’s work. (1:31)

How is each step of the Engineering Design Process represented by the activities in the lesson?

Students create several different products—worksheets, life-size schematic diagrams, and hand-built circuits—as they work their way through the Engineering Design Process.

  • For the Imagine step, each student works independently to sketch out a schematic that represents their own solution. (4:24)
  • For the Plan step, children agree as a team on one idea and make a life-size schematic diagram showing how it will be constructed. (6:04)
  • For the Create step, teams build the circuit systems they planned by placing the circuit materials directly onto their schematic diagrams. (7:30)