Makerspace @ Traf in the Caf: Week 4, Paper Circuits

Paper circuits was by far the most popular activity of the month. Indeed, it was so popular I still am getting students asking me if they can make a card!

Materials Needed:

  • Craft supplies (paper, glue, scissors, tracing paper and tape)
  • 3v lithium coin batteries
  • Circuit sticker LEDs (Chibitronics makes them)
  • Copper tape

To begin with I made a prototype using a guide created by the Exploratorium in San Francisco:

Papercircuitstemplate

I used a simple parallel circuit:

images

Lessons learned:

  • Make sure to not rip the tape, which is finicky. TIP: take the backing off gradually as you go.
  • Also make sure the tape is as smooth as possible and the LEDS are properly glued to both tracks.
  • LEDS also have to be facing the same direction (+ side all on one track, – side on the other)
  • If it doesn’t seem to work at first, try flipping the batter over. Not sure why this is. It feels a little like magic.

Once I had an idea of what I was doing, I brought it to the students (and Staff got into it as well!)

Here was the result:

 

There were some happy mothers on Mother’s day!

Conclusion:

Paper circuits was a great introduction to the concept of Makerspace. It combines a simple technology that the girls can simply copy or take farther (circuits) with the fun of crafts to produce a magical result. The girls were thrilled with their cards and want to do more.

Personally- I want to make more too! I have some ideas about how to use it with silhouettes…

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