Larsha Johnson, founder of Bits4Bots, LLC, has been a longtime friend and program partner to AMRoC Fab Lab. This summer, she put together a great early electronics class for elementary school children that can be taught in a small group on-site session as well as remotely. Her first “Electronics with Paper Circuits” class was held in July and over the course of the 3-day, interactive class students learned about electricity, voltage, and the meaning of insulator in contrast to conductor.
Below, Larsha shares the basics of paper circuits and some resources for learning more about them.
Cost: Varies – copper tape ~$.06/ft, fabric tape ~$.79/ft
Mess Level: Minimal
What are paper circuits?
Paper Circuits provide an experimental solderless LED kit for kids and are designed to allow children who want to start building electronic circuits, with real components, to do so without soldering.
A paper circuit is a low-voltage electronic circuit that is created on paper (cardstock) or cardboard using conductive tape such as copper, or Maker Tape sold by BrownDog Gadgets, LEDs and a power source such as a coin-cell battery. In addition to being educational, they can also be a fun classroom or makerspace project that helps to bring artwork and paper craft to life.
Projects can range from greeting cards, to origami, to paintings or drawings and more! What makes them unique is the use of traditional fine art techniques to create a circuit that is combines aesthetics and functionality.
If you are looking for ways to promote STEM and need an easy clean up, low stress activity this is it. Students who participated in our first class built and designed a paper rocket with blinking flames, a robot, fancy bowtie, and working traffic light.
- Paper Circuits with Copper Tape
- The Tinkering Studio
- Paper Circuits Downloadable Instructions (PDF)
- Makezine Simple Paper Circuit
- Students Illuminate their Ideas with Paper Circuits
- Electric Origami
More from Bits4Bots
You can also find more instructional videos across a range of electronics projects and topics at the Bits4Bots YouTube channel., including the final wrap up for her recent class, which you can see here.
Keep your eye on our calendar and subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter to see when the next round of classes is open.