Do you like playing with play dough; or modeling clay? Wouldn't it be cool if you could add lights, sound, or even motion to your play dough creations? In this project, you will use play dough that conducts electricity, which will allow you to connect lights to your sculptures!
This project is the first in a three-part series on play dough circuits, which can all be done with the same materials. We recommend doing the projects in order.
If you like listening to music and making crafts, this is a great project for you. You will learn how to make a completely functional speaker that you can use to listen to real music...out of paper! Along the way, you will learn about the science behind how a speaker works. Speakers depend on magnets to create sound—does adding more magnets make the sound louder? Try this project to find out!
This project is compatible with Google's Science Journal app, which allows you to collect data…
Have you ever seen clothing with built-in lights? This might sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, but electronic textiles (or e-textiles for short) really exist. Instead of using hard surfaces for circuits (like what goes inside your computer or cell phone), e-textiles weave electrical parts like batteries, wires, and lights directly into clothing that you can wear to make the clothing do fun, interesting things like light up, respond to sound, or even serve medical purposes…
Electric paint is a fun way to include a circuit with lights in an art project, but it presents a challenge not found in traditional electronic circuits. What happens if you change the length or width of your strokes of paint, such as by painting longer, curvier lines or using a thicker brush? Could this affect the electrical properties of your circuit? Try this project to find out!
Whether you have already tried the Science Buddies
Build a Paper Speaker activity or the
How Loud Can Paper Speakers Get?
project, or you just like music and are interested in exploring more about the science of sound, then this project is for you.
You probably know that sound waves can have different frequencies. If not, you can read more about that in the background section
of the How Loud Can Paper Speakers Get?
project. The range of human hearing is typically about 20 hertz…
A simple circuit and a servo motor are all you need to turn any work of art into an interactive moving creation that is happy to see you. Light sensors see your shadow as you walk past your artwork and make a servo motor move back and forth. Waving arms? Turning heads? It is all up to you!
"Paper circuits" are a fun way to mix electronics and art by adding lights directly to a painting or drawing. These lights need a battery to power them, and typically you would use wires to connect them. In paper circuits, though, many materials can be substituted as "wire," including special types of paint, ink, and even aluminum foil. There are also different options for what type of battery you can use. Which materials do you think will work best? Try this project to find out!
Have you tried our first and second play dough circuits projects? Are you a master circuit artist, ready to try something even bigger and better? Try this project to see if you can build a three-dimensional light-up sculpture.
Have you tried our first electric play dough project,
and now you are looking for more to do? Do you want to learn more about circuits and add even more lights? Check out this project for part 2 of our play dough circuits series!