Add the Resistor

  1. Warning: Without the resistor, there is a risk that the LED could break when plugged into power.

  2. Insert one end of the resistor into any hole in the red row of the breadboard. Remind students the red wire and resistor are now connected (holding hands).

  3. Insert the other end of the resistor into any hole in the blue row of the breadboard.

  4. Use the blue marker to mark this on the schematic as shown in the video.

Connect the Black Wire

  1. Insert one end of the black wire into any pin on the Arduino board labeled GND.

  2. Insert the other end of the same black wire into any hole in the black row of the breadboard.

  3. Use the black marker to mark this action on your schematic as shown in the video. Remind students the schematic does not exactly match since they have not added the LED to the breadboard.

Connect the Red Wire

  1. Plug one end of the red wire into the pin on the Arduino board labeled 5V on the power rail.

  2. Plug the other end of the same red wire into any hole in the red row of the breadboard.

  3. Use the red marker to mark this on your schematic as shown in the video. Note: the schematic does not actually show the breadboard. Remember, the breadboard is just a device used to connect different components.

Plug in the Arduino board

  1. Connect the Arduino board to a computer using the USB cable.

  2. Make sure the computer is turned on.

STEM Connections

All electrical and electronic devices need a source of power to work. In this activity, the computer is only providing the Arduino board with power through the USB. There is no information being shared between the computer and the Arduino board. The computer is the power source for the electrical circuit, like a battery.

Draw the Schematic

  1. Draw the symbols of the three components as shown in the video. Begin with the symbol for the power source, then the symbol for the resistor, and finally the symbol for the LED.

  2. Connect the three components with lines as shown in the video. Notice once the symbols are connected the electrical circuit is complete.

Label the Resistor

  1. Lay your resistor on a piece of paper.

  2. Circle and label the resistor.

  3. Draw the symbol for the resistor next to the resistor.

  4. Note the wires at each end of the resistor are the same and are called legs.

Label the LED

  1. Lay your LED on a piece of paper.
  2. Circle and label the LED.  
  3. Draw the symbol for the LED next to the LED.
  4. Draw a plus sign (+) next to the long leg and a minus sign (-) next to the short leg.

STEM Connections

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. An LED is made with a semiconductor that converts 'electrical energy' to 'light energy' when electric current flows through it in one direction.

Explore the Materials

  1. Pick up each component and examine it closely.
  2. Refer to the video and identify each of the components as one of the following:
    • Arduino board
    • Breadboard (with red, blue, and black highlights)
    • Resistor
    • LED
    • Red and black wire
    • USB cable
    • Computer/Laptop
    • Pencil
    • Paper
    • Red, black, and blue markers

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