Third Grade Circuit Circus

A light-up Skeeball game, a spinning ballerina, a flying Snitch—these are just a few of the creative attractions in the Circuit Circus this year!
In January and February, Lower School Science Specialist Elizabeth McDonald taught the third-grade class about lightbulbs, electric currents, switches, and circuits. Students start by solving challenges using “circuit blocks” beginning with the simple challenge of lighting up a light bulb and working up to challenges like lighting multiple light bulbs, incorporating switches, and combining multiple types of components such as motors and buzzers. Then, in close collaboration with Makery, each student came up with a creative idea to show others what they learned about electricity. 

Using a variety of building skills they learned from Lower School Makery Facilitator Jimmy Santosa, each of the third graders conceptualized their circuits in their journals and then designed them using cardboard, aluminum foil, paper clips, metal brads, and of course, wires and batteries! This project not only helps students apply the electrical knowledge they learned from Ms. McDonald, but also gives opportunities to practice prototyping, flexible thinking, and perseverance. 

At the end of March, the third graders presented their projects at the Circuit Circus, attended by the large Burke’s community, which included Burke’s students, staff and faculty members, and parents. Students practiced their presentation and public speaking skills by showcasing their projects to different audiences and answering questions about their creations. The exhibition boasted creative inventions like a donut clock, a mini-elevator, a basketball match, and even a roller coaster! But above all, the Circuit Circus boasted the ingenuity, creativity, and hard work of the Class of 2029! 
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.
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