As part of an electricity unit in science, eighth graders learned about circuit boards. The class discussed extending their new knowledge through a service-learning project, helping create more eye-catching displays for community organizations—a need that had been expressed by many organizations at their school’s community partner fair. The students divided into teams (each of which worked with a partner organization), and began work to create interactive displays using circuit boards.
Students researched conductors, insulators, resistors, volts, currents, resistance and Ohm’s Law, relying on classroom instruction and discussions, textbooks and related materials. To determine what information should go on each display, the students interviewed staff from the partner organizations and researched topics associated with each organization’s mission and work.
Following their research, the students worked closely with each partner organization to design and create eye-catching displays. This process included constructing a front decorative panel and engineering the circuit board in back. To create the circuit boards, the students dissected discarded stereos and computers and harvested useable parts (such as switches, wires and fans).
When the displays were complete, the students unveiled them at a “Circuit Board Fair” for the school and community. Community partners had the opportunity at the Fair to talk one-on-one with students, giving them feedback and expressing their gratitude for the students’ hard work. The boards are now being displayed and used throughout the community.