Circuits for teaching physics
I've taught my students to build electronic circuits, and, separately, I've taught my students to devise their own experimental apparatus. While these two movements in my teaching have been two of the most successful, I've yet to successfully combine them, yet to ask them to build their own circuits as lab apparatus for studying something else. It's so promising that I've decided to ask others to join me in the trial.
Having our physics students build their own apparatus might have multiple benefits:
- Save schools that would otherwise buy commercial apparatus a large fraction of the cost.
- Allow schools that would otherwise miss out because they couldn't afford the commercial apparatus.
- Allow more students of more schools to borrow lab equipment for homework, or even have more students own their lab equipment outright.
- Increase student ownership of the process of learning in the laboratory.
- Allow students to learn a skill to be used in other environments, including students who would not elect to learn circuits or programming, but would elect physics.
- Attract students interested in circuits and programming to physics.