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Thursday, August 14, 2014
Fun With Squishy Circuits With Interactive Notebook Ideas
Want to have some fun and learn something too?
Today I am sharing a product/lesson idea that I really like. Squishy Circuits allow students of all ages to explore electronics and create circuits by using play-doh! I use an inquiry based procedure for this activity. First I hand each group of students the squishy circuit kit and a ball of play-doh.
I let the students explore and see what they can do with these materials. I roam around from group to group asking questions to get them to try different things. Some students figure out how to light the bulbs right away. Other groups struggle. Eventually most groups are able to create a simple circuit and then build on that with depth and complexity creating more elaborate circuits.
Besides LED lights the kit includes a motor and a buzzer.
For even more inquiry fun, you can give the students both insulator dough and conductor dough without telling them the difference. Below are the recipes.
Recipe for Insulating Dough:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup deionized (distilled water)
regular tap water can be used but the resistance of the dough will be lower
Recipe for Conductive Dough:
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup salt
3 tbsp. cream of tartar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
food coloring (optional)
Store bought play-doh works just fine as a conductive dough. You can also purchase the electronic components individually at any hardware store. But I really do think the kit is pretty good deal. You can view the products here http://squishycircuitsstore.com/kits.html
For note booking, I would probably have the students create a diagram showing their understanding of a simple circuit.
Definitions could also be included. I would help the students develop vocabulary based on their experience with the squishy circuits.
Below is an example of a student explaining their understanding in their interactive notebook.
You could make a great STEM career connection by discussing what types of careers would need to know and use this information...there are many!
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