Technology Tuesday: Squishy Circuits

Happy Technology Tuesday Everyone!  Last week, we looked into Raspberry Pi, which was an educational circuit board used in many schools and homes across the UK.  Today we will focus on something that you can do at home for fun during break, with your local girl scouts, or as a fun “Engineering Challenges” SWE meeting.

Squishy circuits was a TED talk presented by Ann Marie Thomas.  After finding it difficult for her younger daughter to learn about electricity with perf boards and not quite old enough for a soldering iron, her and a student experimented with different playdough recipes one summer.

The results were electrifying!  By making two different doughs (a sugar mix and a salt mix) they had two different solids with different electrical properties.  The difference in resistance in doughs allows little hands (or big hands)  to explore circuits by pushing in LEDs and motors.

If you are looking for an outreach event to host, this may be one activity to explore and possibly present at your local elementary school.

Check out the full video from TED below.  For some more fun and creative ideas, check out the Squishy Circuits Webpage.  For December they had a gingerbread man circuit.  Happy play dough making and circuit designing!

Let us know how your circuits turn out by sending in pictures or comments on how it went.

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