Logic Circuits and Potential Dividers
There is an inevitable tension between looking for virtual versions of logic circuits that behave perfectly and are quick to build and supporting students in making these for real and doing some proper experimental work. Ultimately the best solution is probably a mixed economy.
It's hard to find quality resources on this topic since they either have an electronics perspective or they are aimed at A level students. However, this collection of resources should go some way to providing support and ideas.
Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance
Links and Resources
Included here because it’s nominally a lesson about diodes; this resource won’t improve your subject knowledge but it’s been sneaked in because it might help you reflect on lessons and develop your own practice. It’s a brave teacher who is prepared to get uncensored feedback from students but this revealing video shows how very useful it can be. It’s worth watching although the first two and half minutes of introduction could be whizzed over without missing much. Would you dare to do it yourself?
Download the pdf file to find a straightforward experiment for students to carry out as they investigate a silicon diode. There are full instructions for students and an equipment list as well as teaching notes. You’ll also find ideas about discussing Moore’s Law on miniaturisation with students and some suggestions for further experimental work to take it further. The activity is accompanied by a Future Morph film looking at a student studying electronics at Exeter College which you might like to use to promote related careers. It’s also great for citizenship as the students intends to work in Angola with WaterAid.
Coming from the IOP, the physics here is tip top and this excellent resource contains all you need to teach a sequence of lessons on potential dividers; background notes for teachers, practical and safety tips, instruction sheets for students, follow up questions that require calculations and, all importantly, worked answer sheets too. Students can find this topic a little confusing so it’s worth spending some time revisiting the concept of voltage before starting to teach it and reminding them that the electrical energy carried by the electrons is “shared out” around the circuit.