Simple tools, electrifying results...
This project combines something extremely familiar with something exceptionally novel. Participants use pencils, markers and their art skills to create a wonderful drawing on a standard piece of card stock. It gets really interesting though when we flip it over and install an electric circuit on the back that lights up their drawing. Literally.
Circuits are created using special conductive copper tape, colour-fading LEDs and a 3V coin cell battery. Students learn about the polarity of electricity and the flow of electrons around a circuit. We discuss how work is accomplished (making the lights turn on) as well as how switches work.
The batteries last for 48 hours of continuous use, so when "turned off" at night they can last for over a week. Replacement batteries are available at the dollar store.
Ontario Curriculum Intersections:
This program can be adapted to emphasize or demonstrate learning objectives in the following broad categories:
- Visual Arts
- Composition with respect to future LED placement
- Subject selection to make the lights "make sense" in context
- Science & Engineering
- How electricity accomplishes work
- The difference between DC and AC power (battery vs wall)
- The mechanics of switches on/off
- Conductivity and continuity for a complete circuit
- Brainstorming with a group
- Presentation skills for finished drawings
- Listening to a complete set of instructions before starting
- Sharing and retelling the process with accurate scientific words