After over one year on iTunes, Google Play, and online, DC Circuit Builder has proven to be Nerd Island‘s most successful app. It works well in our physics classrooms because it is simple. It doesn’t include a lot of bells and whistles, and doesn’t worry about the fact that in most beginning electronics labs you are working in kilo-Ohms and milli-Amps rather than Ohms and Amps. Students seem to respond to the fact that it is laid out on a grid and that you can draw wires across the screen simply by swiping your finger. However, as with any app, there will always be room for improvement and new features. The most common feature request by far is to add switches to the simulation.
Thanks to our school’s time off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and a little nudging from another teacher, I made the time to add knife switches to the simulation. Under the “Draw” tab, students can now choose between a wire, a knife switch, a resistor, a light bulb, and an inline ammeter. By adding switches, students can now model household lighting circuits as well as more complex systems.
I will push the new version out to iTunes and Google Play when I have time, but for now you can find the new version of DC Circuit Builder right here on SimBucket. If you have previously run the web-based version of DC Circuit Builder, make sure to clear your browser cache so that you can load the most up-to-date version.
Please give it a shot, and let me know what you think!