Eduporium Experiment | Squishy Circuits Deluxe Kit
Ready to play? Because Squishy Circuits is designed for play-based learning! By building and testing a number of experiments, kids can learn circuitry basics while experimenting with conductive and insulating dough, LEDs, and other fun accessories. Using Squishy Circuits, students are able to get hands-on while learning about conductivity, simple circuits, series, and parallel circuits. The kits come in three sizes: Lite, Standard and Deluxe, varying by accessory amount and inclusion of pre-made dough versus instructions for creating some DIY dough!
We experimented with Squishy Circuits a while back, but wanted to take closer look this time. In this edition, I focused on the Deluxe Kit, which is the largest and most involved of the three. It comes with some pretty cool scultping tools and a lot more dough than what is found in the Lite and Standard kits. It also has a motor and a fan blade, so kids can build a circuit they can immediately see in action - and the whole kit is still very affordable!
As I said, the Deluxe Kit is the biggest kit, meaning it holds the greatest possibilities for learning. Besides what I just named, it also comes with three different conductive doughs, one tub of insulating dough, 40 LEDs of various colors, buzzers, and a switch. I followed the Getting Started guide included in the kit and began by creating a simple circuit consisting of two pieces of conductive dough, one LED bridging the gap between them, and the battery wires plugged into the dough. I made sure the long leg of the LED was in the piece of dough that had the red (positive) battery wire. This is a necessary step because the LED only works in one direction due to polarity.
When I pushed the two pieces of dough together, the LED no longer lit up because I created a short circuit. I then placed a small piece of insulating dough between the two pieces of conductive dough. The LED lit up this time because I closed the circuit. This was my first series circuit in which there was one continuous path for electricity to flow through--around the insulating dough and through the LED. Then, I created a parallel circuit by rolling out two pieces of conductive dough and bridging the long gap with three LEDs. Since electricity was flowing through each LED independently, each LED shone brightly, illustrating the principle of conductivity!
Squishy Circuits is a simple and highly accessible way to introduce students to circuitry basics. It can also be applied at a higher level, building on previous circuitry knowledge and engaging older students. Adding Squishy Circuits to your teaching toolbox will encourage students to model and design their own circuits with dough and get real-time feedback!
To grab a Squishy Circuits Deluxe kit of your own, click here to visit the Eduporium store! And, look out next Wednesday for the newest edition of the Eduporium Experiment featuring the Oculus Rift! In the meantime, don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more and you might as well like us on Facebook, too!