Explore sewable circuits with conductive thread and LEDs in an e-textile circuit. Kids will learn how to arrange a circuit, incorporate a switch and a button, and they’ll get to be as creative as they want to be in designing and decorating their creature. They’ll also learn some basic sewing stitches. REGISTER NOW!
Learn basic soldering skills by building a mini lighthouse. Soldering is a way to permanently attach electrical components with melted metal. It’s secure, tidy and compact, making it the preferred way to connect peripherals to robots, wires to lights and to secure spliced wires. Students will use lead-free solder to attach a battery holder, resistors, transistors, capacitors, a power switch and an LED. They can change the value of the resistors to change the flashing pattern and create an occulting lighthouse. REGISTER NOW!
No power, no problem! The lights may be out, but this crew is glowing with LED headgear they made.
After tornados passed through Westchester and left most of our town without power, but the kids were good to proceed so we quickly secured a couple more battery-powered hot glue guns and had a great time with this crew.
While this isn’t the best photo, it gives you a sense of the basic elements of this project, before it was festooned with colorful pompoms. We would have preferred to use low-heat hot glue guns, but we had a power outage to contend with, so we used battery powered glue guns and they can get hot and burn little fingers. So an adult held the headband carefully and the student did the gluing. Our goal is to have the student participate fully from start to finish.
Step 1 was to glue the LEDs in place with all the anodes facing the same direction so they could be wired in parallel easily. We used a combination of blue, green, white and blinking LEDs, but learned that red and yellow LEDs are lower voltage and will make the other colors not function, so we didn’t use those.
If you look closely, you’ll see a black battery holder on the lower left end of the headband. That’s our power source. Two copper wires are soldered onto the battery holder. Students then wrapped the copper wire around the legs of the LEDs and once we confirmed that each circuit was wired properly (they all got it the first time – yay!) we encased the connections in hot glue. That’s what’s happening above.
Once the students made their circuits, it was time to get creative with pompoms! The best part was seeing how each student approached their project differently. Some were methodical, curating a limited color palate and placing each pompom precisely. Others went for a rambunctious riot of color! They all were perfect! And they learned a lot about circuits.