Scout STEM badges with hands on circuit projects
Scouts Councils around the country are recognizing the value of hands-on projects with electricity for building confidence in STEM. Lectrify products are designed to provide a low-cost solution that ensures successful exploration of core concepts of electricity and engineering. Our products are designed around a philosophy of "low threshold, no ceiling" that ensures that both girls and troop leaders have successful projects that don't limit imagination or ability.
Here's a small sample of badges that would be enhanced with Lectrify product:
Girl Scouts of Northern California provides Girls Go Tech program boxes that includes a Power it Up badge
Girl Scouts of Orange County has a STEMsational ME! badge (page 5 where they discuss Redesign, Refashion and Reinvent a garment)
Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valley I'm Electric Badge.
There are many ways To explore electricity using Lectrify circuits.
The easiest place to start is with wearable jewelry and a paper-clip bracelet. By simply creating two chains of paper clips and connecting from the red of the battery to the red of the LED and the white of the battery to the white of the LED you can have a working circuit.
Once you have built confidence with a simple paper clip circuit, you can move onto exploring conductivity through other common craft materials.
A number of conductive craft materials are shown to the right.
It is a valuable lesson to include some non-conductive materials or even materials that conduct under certain circumstances. For example, pipe cleaners are wonderful wires, but you have to remove the outer fuzz to make a good connection. The fuzz functions as insulation from the metal inside. The same can be said for plastic coated or painted paper clips. While the metal is conductive, the coating an serve as an insulator.
Using craft materials, students can build a wide variety of jewelry and crafts with Lectrify circuits.
Another area for exploring electricity is through wearable technology. Lectrify components work very for sewable circuit projects because the components have large holes that allow for larger darning needles. The non-plated holes can be used for securing the LEDs with non-conductive thread.
The Sock Puppet project page provides a step by step example of a sewable circuit project..
Adding LEDs to a Badge
Electronics can be added directly to the badge using Lectrify components. Below are two examples of different levels of complexity in the badge design.
Simple sewable Circuit - 2 leds in parallel
Above is an example of a simple sewable circuit that uses conductive thread, 2 LEDs and a battery pack to make a light up badge. The circuit is highlighted in color to be easier to follow. The red lines represent wires connected to the positive side of the battery and the white lines wires connected to the negative side of the battery. The hot glue is used to hold down the circuit but is also used to keep a tight connection between the conductive thread and the components.
Advanced sewing - Very useful circuits
Using the Very Useful Circuits product line, it is possible to add additional functionality to the project. In this example, the smiley face badge is sewn together using the Blinker circuit with the wiring highlighted above. This provides the opportunity to explore more advanced concepts in electronics as well as soldering.