Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Maker Monday: S.T.E.M. Fun (Ages 5+) Snap Circuits

Explore circuits and build simple machines that will be dismantled after construction. Younger builders (age 5-7) should plan to build with a caregiver or older sibling.

Display as kids entering: electricity books (J537’s) and books on inventors/inventions (608s/609s)


Discuss: what is electricity/how do we use it in our lives?

Demonstrate: static electricity (rub balloon on kid volunteer’s hair)

Read: Switch On, Switch Off by Melvin Berger.

(optional, if have the equipment – electrical wire, bar magnet & compass  -- do the experiment described on pages 10-13)

Diagram:  show how the circuit works – from source of power (battery in our kits/electrical outlet in your home/story above)  electricity flows through the circuit, powering the objects (light/fan/speaker) before returning to the battery.


Mention that they will be experimenting with different circuits using our Snap Circuit kits. Demonstrate project #1

Tell them If they haven’t used these kits before, recommend that they do the projects in this sequence: Projects 1,3,4,15-21 (shown on board).  Follow the instructions and double-check before turning on switch.

Emphasize: Safety precautions (particularly if they you are doing other projects/experimenting):

  • Never attach any of the blue pieces across the battery terminals – can get a “short circuit” and burn out the battery
  • Never make a circuit that doesn’t go through some object to be powered (light/speaker/motor) – again short circuit!
  • Any project that uses the motor/fan has the RED ! box – if you don’t wear glasses, please come get eye protection first. (used plastic sheets because I didn’t have plastic goggles)

Teams – suggest 2-3 people in each group, 5-7 year-olds work with over 8s or adult.




Take Home:  Potato electricity experiment sheet (photocopied from back page of Switch On, Switch Off by Melvin Berger.)

Monday, April 18, 2016 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM  (21 kids/9 kits good ratio)

1 comment:

  1. So delighted you find it useful! Thanks for commenting. :) Carol


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