Maker Journal Post #3

Today in EDIT 4100S, we made soft circuits. I honestly forgot how to make a simple circuit that students learn in elementary school, so I didn’t know where to start. I began gathering supplies needed such as felt, yard, a needle, a battery, and two lights. I initially wanted to make a heart bracelet, but decided on a bookmark. Both of these ideas would be great to show the children over at Barrow for a Maker Space activity. I looked online at various examples and step-by-step instruction to figure out where to begin.

This soft circuit activity displays the components of Maker Education. I first tinkered with the objects I had, specifically the battery and lights. I had to play around with them until the lights finally turned on. It was interesting to discover and relearn circuits! Once I tinkered, I built a soft circuit. To start, I cut a rectangle, blue felt bookmark. I wanted the lights to be able to turn on and off, so I sewed a small pocket for the battery to slip in. As you can see below, I then sewed on the pocket and cut a little slip into the blue bookmark so I can adjust the lights whenever needed. Next, I cut out a green rocket ship and sewed that over the pocket. I had to double-check to make sure the lights poked out in the back. Lastly, I sewed a path that the rocket ship travelled.

I enjoyed this activity, but some of the sewing was a little difficult and tedious. I’m glad I had the opportunity to relearn sewing, as well as soft circuits though. Soft circuits would be an enjoyable STEM project to incorporate into upper-elementary school or middle school classrooms. Since a needle is needed to sew the battery into felt, it could also be a bit dangerous and tedious for younger-aged children.

Students’ curiosity will spark immediately as they get to take the role of a maker and create any design of their own. All of their ideas can have unique and diverse approaches as well. Most importantly, students can practice science and the basics of a circuit, while also engaging in Maker Spaces and the power of learning. I can’t wait to show the Barrow students this cool project and watch them as they build something of their own!

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Author: Anna Beasley

Early Childhood Education. UGA.

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