|Age Range||10-16 (younger students may need adult help)|
|Date||Tues August 17 at 2 pm Eastern / 11 am Pacific|
|Class Size||3-15 students|
Make a personalized version of the board game Operation, where players must remove game pieces without setting off the alarm!
You choose the theme, design the board, and build the electric circuit that makes it work. All you need is a recycled box (such as a cereal or cracker box) and some simple components to create a buzzing, light-up game that everybody will love!
Great as a fun project, or use the buzzing game board to show your knowledge of anatomy, geography, or a favorite story!
Class lasts roughly 90 minutes – two hours.
After class, students can continue to add detail to their game board and create their own game pieces!
What to Expect
Students will learn about electric circuits, game design, and game mechanics as they develop a playing board around a theme that they choose, and make it light up and buzz! We’ll also discuss possible rules and how to make or find game pieces that fit their concept. Written and printable instructions will be available for two weeks after class takes place.
Projects in this course require the ability to cut, tape, and measure cardboard and paper (or judge amounts). Students or an adult helper may need to prep materials before class (such as cutting and stripping wire).
- Students will be introduced to the idea of using simple materials like paper, cardboard, and aluminum to create working models.
- Students will use engineering design skills like prototyping, testing, trouble-shooting, and iteration, and documentation as they build, improve, and enhance their models and share them with others.
- Students will learn the basics of electrical circuits.
- Students will use skills and interests they already have to explore new areas, and test out their own ideas and designs.
It’s important to have all the materials ready before class begins. See the Supplies page for more information.
This class works best when students are on camera and use the microphone to ask questions or participate in class discussion. It also helps me guide a student through the troubleshooting process. That said, I understand that everyone doesn’t want to be on camera all the time, and I will do my best to accommodate individual needs and preferences.
Supporting Your Learner
Some students may need help setting up for class and building the projects. Printable instructions are provided to make it easier to follow along. Feel free to contact me with any questions!
To work along with the online workshop, have these materials ready. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about supplies!
Note: If you have a kit, it contains all the electronics, plus the metal tweezer, some copper tape, and a binder clip.
mini vibrating disc motor with ends stripped
insulated wire, about one foot long, with the ends stripped
3 volt coin battery (such as CR2032)
Need last-minute supplies? LEDs can be salvaged from light strands, tea lights, or old toys or devices. You may be able to find a small vibrating motor in an old disposable toothbrush or pager.
To strip a wire: Use a wire stripper tool like this to cut through the plastic insulation, no more than 1/2 inch from the end, and pull it off the metal wire inside. If you don’t have the tool, carefully pinch all the way around the insulation with regular scissors or small nail clippers. Bend the wire back and forth until the insulation separates and you can slide it off the end.
Shopping Lists with Links:
- Adafruit http://www.adafruit.com/wishlists/501039
- Amazon — see notes for amounts needed per person (some items are shown in class-size bulk packages) https://a.co/canU4HO
Crafts supplies and recycled materials:
- thin, smooth-sided cardboard box (such as a small or medium-sized cereal or cracker box)
- metal tweezers (look in the dollar store, or make your own by bending a thin strip of cardboard in half and cover with foil)
- tape (any household tape)
- (optional) double-sided tape (such as thin scrapbooking tape)
- heavy paper, such as construction paper or cardstock
- markers or other drawing tools
- aluminum foil (regular kitchen foil is fine)
- something to make game pieces: scrap cardboard, clay, beads, buttons, etc
- (optional) small binder clip
- scissors and/or craft knife
Live sessions work best with a camera and microphone. Parents will need a Zoom account (free).
Kathy Ceceri, B.A.
Kathy Ceceri is an award-winning writer and educator, and the author of more than a dozen books of hands-on STEAM activities for kids and teens. Formerly the Homeschooling Expert at About.com (now ThoughtCo), she wrote the Hands-On Learning column for Home Education magazine and taught her own two children at home from kindergarten until college.
Kathy’s workshops and activities are designed with the non-expert in mind. They introduce basic concepts in science and technology, and give students the skills and information they need to troubleshoot their projects and build upon what they’ve learned. Additional background material and resources look at the diverse people behind the inventions and put them into context in the larger society.
Kathy’s contact page for SEA families
We offered Kathy’s DIY Buzzing Game online workshop last month and it was great! The kids had such a good time. Really creative! Lara R. Cohen, Youth Services Librarian
The kids had such a good time. Really creative!Teacher: Kathy Ceceri
I just wanted to say thank you for teaching this class. My son enjoyed it so much and learned a lot. He is really into motors and circuits right now and this class was a great help to his robotics learning. Parent of student in Build BOTS class
My son enjoyed it so much and learned a lot.Teacher: Kathy Ceceri
My daughter is really enjoying your class. We’ll sign up for anything that you do, as you are an excellent teacher. Mom of Build BOTS Student