Combine electronics and paper to make cool projects!
|Age Range||11-13 (open to younger students with adult help)|
|Class Dates||September 15, 22, 29 and October 2, 2022|
|Class Size||3-8 students|
|Class Times||Thursdays 4pm ET / |
3pm CT / 2pm MT/
Do you like creating with paper? Would you like to bring your designs to life? Here’s your chance to make three great light-up paper projects and learn how electrical circuits work!
Over four live sessions, we’ll be making projects that combine paper artistry and electronics. Projects include:
- Light-Up Origami Jumping Frog — Make a traditional action origami figure with eyes that glow when it’s about to hop. Get a preview in the video below!
- Light-Up Kitty Switch — Make a waving cat (or other creature of your choosing) where the circuit and the on/off switch is part of the decoration! Adapted from my book Paper Inventions.
- Origami Infinity Mirror Box — Combine origami with optical illusion in this traditional masu box. When you light it up, a mysterious bottomless tunnel of lights appears. Inside, there’s even a secret compartment for hiding small trinkets or treats!
- Buzzing Game Board — Re-invent the board game Operation, where players must remove game pieces without setting off the alarm. Choose the theme, design the board, and build the electric circuit that makes it work.
Self-paced option: Written instructions, printable templates (where needed), and pre-recorded video tutorials will be available until Dec 31, 2022 in case you can’t make a live session. It’s helpful but not required to do all the sessions in order.
Supplies: The electronics can be found online. See the Supply section for a shopping list with links. Contact the instructor to see if kits are available.
Class Dates: September 15, 22, 29 and October 2, 2022
Class Times: Thursdays 4pm ET / 3pm CT / 2pm MT/ 1pm PT
Class lasts roughly 90 minutes, although I can stay up to two hours to help anyone who needs more time.
What to Expect
Students will learn about electric circuits, paper design construction techniques, and traditional origami.
Printable, written instructions and videos of the project builds will be available for one month after the series is over.
Projects in this course require the ability to fold, cut, and tape, and to follow instructions. Where possible, I’ll provide easier versions and shortcuts for younger students or those whose skills are still developing. Students or an adult helper may need to prep materials before class (such as printing out templates).
- Students will be introduced to the idea of using simple materials like paper to create working models.
- Students will learn the basics of electrical circuits.
- Students will learn engineering design skills like prototyping, testing, and — most important of all! — trouble-shooting.
- Afterwards, students will be able to apply their new skills to develop their own ideas and designs.
It’s important to have all the materials ready before each live 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!
These are the materials you need to make one of each project (all four weeks). Individual lists for each week will be available on the Teachables page. Have your supplies for that week ready at the start of class to work along with the live workshop. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions!
Electronics and Special Materials:
- 9 LEDs with wire leads (minimum needed to make all three projects, per person)
- 4 coin batteries such as 3-volt CR2032 coin batteries (one per project)
- 1/4-inch wide conductive tape — copper or nylon fabric tape with conductive glue, or cut a strip of aluminum foil duct tape from the heating aisle of hardware stores
- 3 binder clips, 3/4-inch size (to hold batteries on)
- 1 piece of heavy black paper, 3 inches square
- 2 pieces, also 3 inches square, of reflective film
- LED with wire leads
- mini vibrating disc motor with ends stripped
- insulated wire, about one foot long, with the ends stripped
- 3 volt coin battery (such as CR2032)
- metal tweezers (look in the dollar store, or make your own by bending a thin strip of cardboard in half and cover with foil)
- aluminum foil (regular kitchen foil is fine)
Other options: The Make: Origami Paper Circuits Kit contains all the electronics and special materials — except for the wire and the tweezers — that you need.
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. My tutorial will show you how: https://www.kathyceceri.com/dollar-store-electronics
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:
- for the origami projects: regular copy paper (you may print out the templates if you wish to help with cutting and folding)
- for the light-up creature, cardstock or construction paper is recommended
- for the buzzing game board: thin, smooth-sided cardboard box (such as a small or medium-sized cereal or cracker box) and heavy paper, such as construction paper or cardstock
- pen or pencil
- tape (any household tape)
- markers for decorating
- something to make game pieces: scrap cardboard, clay, beads, buttons, etc
- scissors and/or craft knife
- a wire stripper tool, or see other ways to strip a wire below
To strip a wire: Use a wire stripper tool like this to cut through the plastic insulation. Start about 1/2 inch from the end, and pull the tube of insulation off, leaving 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.
Disclosure: If you use my Amazon links I may earn a commission.
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.
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