Friday, March 25, 2016

Paper Circuits

We recently held the last technology club meeting of the school year.  To celebrate, we ate pizza and made paper circuits!

I scoured the internet for directions on making paper circuits and found many great ideas.  However, I wasn't sure how much time we would have after the pizza party.  So I decided to start with a very simple circuit, providing lots of guidance.  The students who completed their circuit quickly were able to create their own second circuit.

To prepare for this activity, I prepared a baggie of materials for each student.  The baggie included a 5mm LED light, about 18 inches of adhesive copper tape, a CR2032 coin cell battery, a medium binder clip, a template for creating the circuit (with a small hole for the LED light), and a 4x6 print of Van Gogh's Starry Night (with a small hole for the LED light).  The template was hand-drawn and copied for students and included lines where the copper tape should be and marks for the

We began with a discussion of circuits.  Students knew that they needed a power source and a conductor to complete the circuit.  I showed them the materials in the baggie and asked them to identify the power source and conductor.  Then students watched as I demonstrated each of the steps under a document camera on the Promethean Board.  Last, students were given a baggie and they split into groups to being creating.

Here are the directions students were given.
1. Push the LED light through the hole in the template.  Carefully pull apart the leads and lay them flat along the template's lines.
2. Pull the backing off of a few inches of the copper tape.  Gently press the copper tape along the template's lines.  Be sure to cover each of the leads and cut the tape on each side of the LED light.
3. Fold over one corner of the template so that the battery is between the fold and the template.  The battery should touch the copper tape on both sides.  Use the binder clip to keep the battery from slipping.
4. Place the Starry Night print on top of the LED light so that the light shines through one of the stars.

Now that students have created their first paper circuit, I look forward to seeing other circuits inspired by this activity!

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