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House Wiring Project

February 17, 2012


In eighth grade, we briefly covered the topic of circuitry.  I did not fully understand how a parallel and series circuit worked, and didn’t quite grasp the relationships between resistance, potential difference, and current.  However, we were given an assignment to make a house out of a shoe box with different rooms.  Using two D batteries, four bulbs, paper clips for switches, brass fasteners, and wires, we were to make each room light up with the flip of a switch.  The brass fasteners held the paper clip switches in place, which worked well since both the fasteners and the paper clips are sufficient conductors of electricity.  Although the wiring seemed complicated to me at the time, I now realize that each room was simply an individual series circuit.  The bulb in one room had one wire intertwined with one wire of the bulbs in the other rooms.  The bundle of four wires could then be attached to the positive end of the battery.  The other wire of the bulb was intertwined with the other side of wires in the other bulbs, and that bundle could be attached to the negative end of the battery, creating complete circuits.  The switches were placed in between the bulbs and the battery.  To create the switch, one end of the paper clip was secured to the brass fastener, allowing it to pivot.  On the other side of the paper clip, another brass fastener was screwed into the box.  When the paper clip was touching both fasteners, it created a complete circuit and the bulb lit.  When one end of the paper clip was detached from the fastener, it created a break in the circuit and the bulb was not able to receive the flow of electrons and did not light up.


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