Measuring Voltage Using a Microcontroller (Lesson 1)

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Pat Blount
Intended Grade Level(s):
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours 30 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will apply Ohm’s Law. Students will use a multimeter to measure current, voltage, and resistance. Students will use a breadboard to set up a series circuit. Students will read circuit diagrams. Students will calculate times for an RC circuit to change state. Students will prove that resistors in series have an equivalent resistance equal to their individual sums. Students will program the Basic Stamp to measure voltage levels in a voltage divider and RC circuit.

Common Core Standard(s) Met:
Next Generation Science Standard(s) Met:

In this lesson students will be introduced to series circuits, resistors, a photoresistor and a microcontroller. There’s a lot here, but it boils down to making a voltage divider circuit and measuring the voltage at different points. A second circuit includes an RC component. Teachers can edit this down to just a photoresistor if time and/or student ability will not permit exploring each of the optoelectronic sensors.


Science Kit Material(s) Used

Vernier Resistor Board

Other Material(s) Used

• Attached handouts • Photoresistor • 220 Ohm resistor • 440 Ohm resistor • 2k Ohm resistor • 10K Ohm resistor • uF Capacitor • 5k Ohm potentiometer • Basic Stamp Homework Board • Jumper wires