Squishy Circuits

Squishy Circuits Kit

Squishy Circuits kits help kids learn about electric circuits.

Please watch the Squishy Circuits presentation prepared by Debbie Sternklar before using the kits.

Note that the dough is not provided; recipe is here:

Here’s a peek at the Debbie’s dough recipes. I’ve had teen volunteers mix up the insulating dough for me, since I don’t like to get stuff stuck on my hands and nails. I made the conductive dough at home, since you need to cook it briefly on the stove. Notes: it did not ruin my non-stick pot, and both keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Conductive Dough Materials: 1 cup Water 1 1/2 cups Flour (A gluten free version of this dough can be made by replacing the flour with glutenfree flour.) 1/4 cup Salt 3 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar* 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil Food Coloring (optional) *9Tbsp. of Lemon Juice may be Substituted Insulating Dough Materials: 1 1/2 cup Flour 1/2 cup Sugar 3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil 1/2 cup Deionized (or Distilled) Water (Regular tap water can be used, but the resistance of the dough will be lower.) Add enough flour so that the dough is not sticky, otherwise the two kinds get muddied together and can’t be separated between projects.

 

Tips learned over time: The battery packs are fragile, cover clips may break, but the packs will still work with no cover. Putting the batteries in the packs should be an adult job, not for teens so the packs hold up longer. Remove batteries when not in use. Clean all leads, parts, and LED “legs” after your program with a damp paper towel, then a dry one before putting supplies back in the box. (Great job for teens.) The first time that the kits are used, the LEDs will all get scrambled, don’t fret over it! Some LED “legs” will break off after a few uses, try not to sweat it. LEDs are cheap. Motors are a BIG battery drain. If a model stops working, the batteries are probably dead. Also, if you leave it running for a while, the heat from the leads will start to cook your dough! If you make a great model and leave it together over one or two nights, you’ll see an effect on motors and leads, salt works fast!

 

CONTAINS:

13 Squishy Circuits boxes.

Each box contains:

  • One Battery Holder with red and black wires attached
  • One Piezoelectric Buzzer with red and black wires attached
  • One Mechanical Buzzer with red and black wires attached
  • One Electric Motor with red and black wires attached
  • 25 LEDs of various colors
  • Extra AA batteries
  • Sandwich bags
  • 2 Books:
    • Squishy Circuits by Kristin Fontichiaro and AnnMarie P. Thomas
    • Electricity Bulbs, Batteries, and Sparks by Darlene Stille

NOTE:

The salt in the conductive dough corrodes the terminals.  Please wipe the components and terminals with a wet cloth after using.

Put the non-working LEDs in the sandwich bags when returning.

RESOURCES:

Ted Talks Squishy Circuits https://www.ted.com/talks/annmarie_thomas_squishy_circuits?language=en

How To Squishy Circuits http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/apthomas/SquishyCircuits/howTo.htm

The Tinkering Studio Squishy Circuits http://tinkering.exploratorium.edu/squishy-circuits

Lesson Plan Squishy Circuits
http://beam.ucla.edu/sites/default/files/docs/Squishy_Circuits.pdf

The Squishy Circuits presentation was prepared by Debbie Sternklar,  Voorheesville Public Library for YS Librarian Training at Mohawk Valley Library System, Maker Space Work Party: Squishy Circuits on 4/30/2015.

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