K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

antique gauge that measures ohms per volt

Photo credit.

Learn more

Related pages

  • Planets' relative gravity spreadsheet: The students use online resources to find information about the eight planets in our solar system. Then, using the relative gravity of each planet, they will create a spreadsheet to calculate what the weight of an average man and woman (possibly their own weight or the weight of other objects) would be on each of the planets.
  • Collecting and organizing data: In this lesson students will learn to collect data and organize the data into a chart using computer technology.
  • Interdisciplinary Integrated Unit on DNA/Genetics Part B: Math: The second lesson of an interdisciplinary integrated unit on DNA and genetics, focusing on math. The other lessons in the unit focus on science and language arts.

Related topics


Please read our disclaimer for lesson plans.


The text of this page is copyright ©2008. See terms of use. Images and other media may be licensed separately; see captions for more information and read the fine print.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • solve word problems to find information needed to use a given spreadsheet
  • use spreadsheet to solve problems based on Ohm’s Law
  • manipulate spreadsheet to answer “what if” questions

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 hour


Technology resources

  • Ohm’s law spreadsheet saved on disks for students
  • computer lab setting works best
  • calculators or access to one via computer
  • Microsoft Excel or Works is needed to view the spreadsheet


  • Students will have already had a lesson on Ohm’s Law and how it helps to identify how power, current, and resistance are related.
  • Students will have already completed Ohm’s Law problems without the use of a spreadsheet to explore how changing current and resistance can affect power and vice versa.
  • Students will already have had experience inputting data to a spreadsheet.
  • Students will have had experiences with solving for an unknown in word problems.


  1. Teacher gives students a copy of the Ohm’s Law questions.
  2. Teacher and students work through a problem to review how to solve for an unknown in a word problem.
  3. Students open Ohm’s Law spreadsheet on the computer.
  4. Students input data to spreadsheet.
  5. Students print out a copy of spreadsheet with their name on a row at the bottom of the spreadsheet.
  6. Students manipulate data to answer “what if” type questions about the spreadsheet.


Printout of spreadsheet after student has input necessary data will be used to assess students’ answers to word problems.

Student answers to Ohm’s Law questions will be used to assess students’ knowledge of how the formula for Ohm’s Law can be manipulated and their ability to manipulate data within a spreadsheet to answer “what if” questions.

Supplemental information



I have extended this lesson to have students create their own spreadsheet that calculates horsepower. Then students run the gym steps for time, measure the height of the gym steps, and weigh each other. They input this data in their spreadsheet to calculate the amount of power they generated running the steps and then we discuss what types of appliances they could run off that power if they could continue to generate that amount of power for an extended amount of time. Most students decide they would rather pay for electricity from the power plant!

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Science (2010)
      • Grade 7

        • 7.P.2 Understand forms of energy, energy transfer and transformation and conservation in mechanical systems. 7.P.2.1 Explain how kinetic and potential energy contribute to the mechanical energy of an object. 7.P.2.2 Explain how energy can be transformed from...
      • Physical Science

        • PSc.3.3 Understand electricity and magnetism and their relationship. PSc.3.3.1 Summarize static and current electricity. PSc.3.3.2 Explain simple series and parallel DC circuits in terms of Ohm’s Law. PSc.3.3.3 Explain how current is affected by changes...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 7

  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 2.02: Enter/edit data and use spreadsheet features and functions to project outcomes and test simple "what if..." statements in content assignments. Strand - Spreadsheet

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 7

  • Goal 5: Algebra - The learner will demonstrate an understanding of linear relations and fundamental algebraic concepts.
    • Objective 5.04: Develop fluency in the use of formulas to solve problems.

Science (2005)

Grade 7

  • Goal 1: The learner will design and conduct investigations to demonstrate an understanding of scientific inquiry.
    • Objective 1.09: Use technologies and information systems to:
      • Research.
      • Gather and analyze data.
      • Visualize data.
      • Disseminate findings to others.
  • Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate an understanding of technological design.
    • Objective 2.02: Use information systems to:
      • Identify scientific needs, human needs, or problems that are subject to technological solution.
      • Locate resources to obtain and test ideas.
  • Goal 6: The learner will conduct investigations, use models, simulations, and appropriate technologies and information systems to build an understanding of motion and forces.
    • Objective 6.03: Evaluate motion in terms of Newton's Laws:
      • The force of friction retards motion.
      • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
      • The greater the force, the greater the change in motion.
      • An object's motion is the result of the combined effect of all forces acting on the object:
      • A moving object that is not subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed in a straight line
      • An object at rest will remain at rest.