Science Sunday: Circuits

Science Sunday: Circuits

*The Mixing Bowl received product or payment in exchange for this post or the post contains affiliate links. The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may differ from yours.*

How much do you know about electricity and the flow of that electricity? I admit I was pretty clueless about it until my physics classes in college. For some reason the top was never really covered before. Electricity is essential to most of the developed world and without it we would not have lights or power to run our daily lives. Think no more cell phones or computers. Electricity plays a vital role in our daily lives and it takes a properly working circuit to get us that electricity.

Circuits are closed loops that get an impulse from one end to another and then back again. Most notably for electricity. A circuit is a set of connectors that have to line up just right to get enough power to a final place. The power that runs through a circuit is called a charge. Charges flow through conductors and go from a point of high voltage to low voltage, the two points must be connected by something conductive. A circuit is such a path that forms a complete loop, so that the charges are brought from a point of low voltage to a point of high voltage, and flow back to the point of low voltage. This loop format is of utmost important when it comes to a charge. You don’t want the charge to get stuck at the end of a circuit line, because then it is lost forever.A circuit diagram from Circuit Maze

Clear as mud right? Circuits are tricky and they take a bit of time to learn and fully understand. As you can see though, they are an important part of our modern life. When learning more about circuits, there are a few other terms to consider:

Current: The flow of charge through the wire. There are two types of current, AC and DC. AC, alternating current can change direction while DC, direct current, only runs in one direction. Batteries have a DC current while radios and computers have an AC current.

Voltage: Power that makes a charge flow. When there is more than one charge in an area, they exert a force on each other: same-sign charges repel one another, and different-sign charges attract one another.

Resistance: How a circuit ‘resists’ charge going through it. Resistance can help ensure a circuit does not become overloaded and fail.Circuit Maze, the game

So this is just a basic overview of circuits. It would take me a weeks to teach all the ins and outs to you. But, if you are interested in learning more or have a kid who likes puzzles and would like to see some lights light up, I want you to check out Circuit Maze from Think Fun. This is a single person game that starts with easy circuit creation and builds on the foundations above to light up LEDs along your circuit. This is a great game for people interested in science and good for ages 8 and up. I have even enjoyed playing with it and brushing up on my circuits. Do not be fooled though, the first few challenges may seem easy but it gets quite tricky. Circuit Maze has 60 puzzles in all, with a solutions card if you absolutely need it. Circuit Maze give you fun and learning for hours.What the Circuit Maze Game looks like

Want to learn more? I know you do! You can pick up Circuit Maze at your local Barnes & Noble and other online site. Learn more on the Think Fun website here. Also, I highlighted the important words for learning circuits if you want to explore them further.

Online sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit and http://eburn.scripts.mit.edu/pened/doku.php/background/science.engineering.concepts/current.voltage.circuits


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