Friday, April 11, 2014

LED Throwies- The Maker Movement STEM Education

Want a fun activity that kids and adults can do together?  LED Throwies are especially fun as a nighttime activity.  Easy, simple and fun.

The Maker Movement:   Part techie, part Do-It Yourself.  The Make Movement has its emphasis, simply put: on having students and adults make something.  The Maker Movement encourages creativity, new ideas, innovation and thinking outside the box.   Some of the makers are actual entrepreneurs and inventors.   Other Makers are amateurs or enthusiasts from a certain area of interest such as electronics or gardening.   Maker Fair are popping up all over the place.  For more information on Maker Fairs see Maker Movement

In this blog entry I will show you a simple Maker Project that can be enjoyed by students of all ages.   The materials are: electrical tape, LED lightbulbs, magnets and coin batteries.  These materials are least expensive if bought in bulk individually, but can also be purchased as kits through craft companies.  LED Throwie Kits

The idea is to take the lightbulb and light it up with the battery.  You could give direct instruction here, but I prefer to allow students to discover that the lightbulb and battery have a negative and positive terminal.   By playing around with it most students will figure out how to make a complete circuit and light up the little bulb.   

Students then wrap the leads with the electrical tape to the battery.  The magnet is placed on the battery and the Thowie is ready to throw!   

Science skills:  Inventing, testing, circuits, battery life, magnets, wavelengths of color…..etc. 

See the Full lesson and followup pages here LED LIGHT STEM LESSON

Special thanks to Dave Francis from USU Extension!
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