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Logic To Electronics: A Teaching Unit For Elementary Students

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.436.1 - 5.436.5

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Paper Authors

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Arlene Mueller

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Elaine M. Cooney

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2332

Logic to Electronics: A Teaching Unit for Elementary Students

Elaine M. Cooney, Arlene Mueller Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis / School District of Affton, Missouri


Today’s primary age school children feel very comfortable using electronic equipment. But often they are not even exposed to simple electric circuits, let alone digital electronic circuits, until much later in their education. Too often, by that time, their natural inquisitiveness has faded and fear of difficult challenges is overactive. Because third grade students are comfortable with visual logic problems and verbal logic problems, they are ready to play with and thereby learn about electronic logic.

The challenge is to make this technology accessible both conceptually and physically to elementary students. The children are introduced to the concepts of combinational logic using visual and verbal logic. The hardware is made available by using a circuit board designed for this project.

Purpose and Objectives

The purpose of this project is to teach second and third grade children simple electrical circuitry and how it is related to digital logic circuits. With this knowledge, the children can develop projects such as interactive bulletin boards and simple robots. There are three main objectives:

1. Provoke curiosity about electricity by allowing the children to play with wires, batteries, bulbs, and switches.

2. Show the children how to improvise and engineer solutions to authentic problems using common materials.

3. Teach the children how to record as they observe, question, test, analyze, predict, synthesize, and evaluate during the course of their investigations.

Preliminary Activities

The children need to learn to attend to detail. As early as kindergarten, the children begin participating in activities designed to strengthen the skills needed for deductive reasoning, visual logic, and verbal logic. Activities and lessons are available from a variety of sources1,2,3.

A current emphasis in education is integrating all areas of the curriculum. The logic problems

Mueller, A., & Cooney, E. M. (2000, June), Logic To Electronics: A Teaching Unit For Elementary Students Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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