The DC Circuit Builder Interactive is a re-scalable file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive is very versatile and can be used at just about any stage of a learning cycle on electric circuit concepts. It could easily be used as an exploration of the voltage-current-resistance relationship and as a lead-in to the Ohm's Law equation. It can be used to explore the similarities and difference between series- and parallel-connected resistors. It can also be used to explore the many conceptual and mathematical details associated with series circuits and parallel circuits. The Physics Classroom has prepared the following five exercises to guide a learner through an understanding of series and parallel circuits.

Our DC Circuit Builder simulation is now available with Concept Checkers. Do the simulation. Then follow it up with a Concept Checker. We have Concept Checkers that align with three of our five activities (others will be available soon). 



Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the DC Circuit Builder Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking.Assignments EC5, EC7, EC8, EC9, EC10, EC11, and EC12 of the Electric Circuits module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating an understanding of circuits, most notably ...

    Electrical Resistance

    Series Circuits

    Parallel Circuits

    Combination Circuits

    Circuit Analysis

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never replace) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. Five notable lab ideas include ...

    Series versus Parallel Lab

    Comparing Voltage Drops and Currents in Series Lab

    Bulbs in Series Circuits Lab

    Comparing Voltage Drops and Currents in Parallel Lab

    Bulbs in Parallel Circuits Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.
  • Science Reasoning Activities:
    Science classrooms should be filled with reasoning activities. There are two related activities in the Electric Circuits section of the Science Reasoning Center that will challenge students to employ close reading, data analysis, and logical reasoning. The activities are named ...

    Bulb A versus Bulb B

    Series and Parallel Circuits

    Visit the Science Reasoning Center.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating DC Circuit Builder into an instructional unit on Electric Circuits can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website. There are several toollkits available for the topic of electric circuits.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.