What Makes You Shine?
Outreach and Education Manager
Introduce simple circuits using materials from the Chibitronics Circuit Stickers Starter Set. Easily blend art and science to go from STEM to STEAM.
Students will be able to express something special about themselves by making a name badge that lights up. This activity can serve as both an icebreaker and an engaging approach to learning about electricity and circuits. What a great way to welcome students to your classroom!
Age: Grade 2 and up
Time: 30–45 minutes
By completing this activity, students will:
- Build a simple circuit on paper
- Design a light-up name badge
- Learn how a circuit works
- Simple Circuit (Power, connector, and LED)
- Complete Circuit
- Short Circuit
- Creativity and innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology
- Create original works as a means of personal group expression
- Practice 1: Asking Questions and Defining Problems
- Practice 6: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
For this activity, each student will need:
- Circuit Sticker
- Coin Cell Battery, 3 V
- Binder Clip
- Conductive Copper Tape
- Simple Circuit Template
- Precut Card Stock Paper for Name Badge
- Badge Pins or Safety Pins
- Drawing Supplies
Ensure that students understand and adhere to safe laboratory practices when performing any activity in the classroom or lab. Model proper laboratory safety practices for your students and require them to adhere to all rules.
- Give cardstock paper and sketching supplies to the students. Ask them to write their names and draw something unique about themselves.
- I am learning to . . .
- I have never . . .
- I like . . .
- This year I plan to . . .
- Have the students quickly share their sketches with a neighbor.
- Ask them to identify and mark the part in their sketch that they want to light up.
- Pass around the template, copper tape, batteries, LED lights, and binder clips. Follow the instructions on the template to make the circuit.
- Once the circuits are complete and working, have the students place their circuits underneath their drawing, aligning the light with the part they want to light up.
Wrap it up
- Encourage students to wear their name badges and share something about themselves using their new creations.
- Give the students a chance to share their learning experiences or questions with the group.
- What did I find most challenging about this activity?
- How did I fix the problem?
- Where else do I see circuits?
- What would I create next with circuits?
- What questions do I have?
- Describe what . . .
- What would happen if . . . ?
- Why do you think that . . . ?
- How would you . . . ?
- Chibitronics Circuit Stickers Starter Set (item #755964)
- Coin Battery, Lithium, 3 V (item #756327)
- Carolina™ Introduction to Electricity Kit (item #755961)
- Carolina™ Electric Circuits Kit (item #955040)
The following is excerpted from the Chibitronics Circuit Sticker Sketchbook.
Let’s get started by lighting an LED. We’ll use the foil tape to connect a battery to the LED in a loop. The “+” side of the LED sticker needs to connect to the “+” side of the battery and the “-” point of the sticker to the “-” side of the battery. This continuous loop is a complete circuit.
Electrons only flow in loops, and this complete circuit allows electrons to flow from the battery, through the LED, and back into the battery. This round-trip flow of electrons, called current, causes the light to turn on and shine. Electrons are lazy, and always take the path of least resistance. Since electrons prefer to take a “shortcut” through foil, rather than do work lighting an LED, an accidental foil connection from + to - will quickly drain the battery, and the LED will not light. This condition is called a short circuit.
A Simple and Quick Circuit Template