TPiB: Squishy Circuits
“I’m going to show you two things you can’t do – these things are dangerous and can destroy the materials, which means no more fun. Then you guys can do whatever you want with this stuff.”
“Anything we want? Like, there’s no instructions?”
“Well, I have some instructions if you want them. They’re over on the counter. But it’s up to you.”
Giving teens the freedom to explore and watching them all take their own path in a scientific investigation was the best part of this program. The low cost, innovative approach, and flexibility were pretty great too.
Squishy Circuits is a way of safely and easily playing with and learning about electricity by using homemade play dough. The dough is simple to make and costs pennies. The other components can be bought on the cheap at a hardware store or Radio Shack, or purchased together for $25 in a reusable kit.
I ran this program with my illustrious Coding Club, who usually just work on computers. They loved having a hands-on project, and were flat out thrilled to be given free reign.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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