My second graders and I recently purchased and put together the SparkFun Paper Circuits Kit. This kit helped my students understand what a circuit is, how a circuit works, and how to create their very own paper circuit.
I modeled how to create the circuit after teaching my students what a circuit is and how a circuit works. Then, my students made their own paper circuits.
What I didn't realize was how much learning would take place when a student's circuit didn't work. I brought my students back together to discuss why some circuits didn't work. My students were able to problem solve and figured out every problem. This was the most exciting part because this is where the real learning occurred.
For example, my students figured out one circuit didn't work because a student cut the copper tape at the ends. Another circuit didn't work because the tape that was holding the legs of the LED wasn't secure while another circuit didn't work because the entire LED leg wasn't touching the copper tape. Finally, another paper circuit didn't work because the battery was placed the wrong way.
My students and I enjoyed this problem solving the most. We were able to discuss the "why" which extended their knowledge about paper circuits and really solidified their learning. Plus, all students were able to take home their very own paper circuit and share with their families what they learned! Thank you SparkFun for providing this wonderful learning experience for us!
Jamie Roth is a second grade teacher at Fireside Elementary School in Louisville, Colorado.