STEM! Paper Circuits (and More!)

If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know how much we *LOVE* hands-on science and engineering!  We have been having such a great time with our electricity and circuits unit that I just had to come on briefly to share a snippet of what we’ve been doing.  (Normally, I wait and put epic posts together, but today I’m just going to gush about what fun we had!).  Science last Thursday lasted for 3 1/2 hours!! That’s why homeschooling is so wonderful.  We went over some information about batteries, volts and amps… but then dove into our hands-on projects and couldn’t stop!!

stem-paper-circuit-hands-on-projects

I think having projects like these is really what helps us avoid homeschool burnout this time of the semester.  Projects just keep us (including me!!) engaged and focused! :)

Today I had a number of supplies on hand including (affiliate links) LED diodes (lights), Lithium coin batteries,wire, light bulb and light bulb holders (we purchased these – Ajax Scientific Mes Type Bulb Holder, Ajax Scientific Miniature Light Bulb, 2.5V, 0.3 Amp), and copper tape.

materials-for-electricity-circuits-unitWe went over the next page in our packet and then created some paper circuits.  First, we made a simple circuit… then we went on to do some science-art circuit projects. I didn’t give much instruction, they set out on their own!

electricity-and-circuits-unit-hands-on-project-paper-circuitspaper-circuits-project LD spent a LOooong time, working with the wire.  He wanted to string the small lightbulbs together for his project.  He was SO excited when the bulbs began to glow! He then worked to fit the wiring under his jack-o-lantern drawing.  The copper tape you see in the picture to the right does not connect to anything. He started to make a simple circuit for the pumpkin, then changed his mind to use wire… That’s the way science goes, right? We start out with one idea and then pivot and go in a different direction!

electricity-and-circuits-unit-hands-on-projectsAnyway, I realize I haven’t given good instructions here, but mainly I need to share what an amazing time we had with science today!!

paper-circuits-hands-on-projectI promise, there will be some posts soon with more details… and I’ll share our Electricity and Circuits Packet in another couple of weeks! :)

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math): Meanwhile, if you are excited to get your kids doing some STEM projects, here are some fun activities we’ve done over the years:

  • 7 Engineering Activities for Kids – These are quick engineering challenges you can do with your kids just to change things up and get them engaged. They are great with any age!

EngineeringActivitiesForKids

Build-a-Marble-Run

Chemistry-Experiment-Packet

Earthquake-ShakeTable

Volcano Activity

  • Critical Thinking Activities – This post includes some of the math challenges my kids have loved!!  We brought out some math circle challenges and the kids would BEG for more! In fact, now that I think about it I should bring out that book again!

MathCircles-CriticalThinkingActivities

 

  • Do you all know about the Free Engineering Units? Our family has used a number of these and they are truly wonderful. They might be really fun for summertime… there are units on bubbles, rockets, and much more! They have free units for Grades 3-5 and for Grades 6-8.

Engineering-is-Elemental2

Happy Homeschooling,

Liesl

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