Since Friday is Valentine’s Day, and since I know from experience that kids often panic/worry or just plain forget about a card for mom and dad, I thought we’d take the opportunity to make very special light up cards using Bare Conductive’s conductive paint! We ordered the paint and coin cell batteries from Amazon (they were cheaper on Sparkfun but sold out) and I picked up the remaining supplies locally.
Template (and instructions) which can be found here
Coin cell batteries (2 per student)
LED lights (1 per yellow robot card, 2 per blue card)
Paintbrushes (these need to be thin!)
How it Went:
The instructions linked above were detailed and well written, so I won’t repeat them here but I will add a few things. First, cover the tables. The paint got smeared on the tables and it was a pain to wipe up, so next time I’ll cover the tables with butcher paper before we get started.
Second, this requires some pretty good fine motor skills. My kids ranged from 2-6th grade. Some of the 2nd graders were able to paint the lines without making a huge mess, some of the 2-4th graders were not. You’ll want to help those who are having a hard time and make sure they keep washing their hands and the paint brush as they work if they are prone to being messy.
Third, the blue robot is way harder than the yellow. It doesn’t look that much harder but it was a much bigger challange, even for the older kids. The trick is making sure that both lights are pointing the same direction, which is hard if you have to trim the ends of the LED’s. The yellow on is a better first timer projects and next time I’ll make double copies of the yellow so that each kid can still do two cards, just not the harder blue card.
Finally, I’ll order more red LED’s in the future. This time around I was working from a mixed batch from previous projects. The reds light up much brighter and the kids all wanted only red, but we didn’t have enough to give everyone red for all three lights. The green, in particular, was disappointing brightness-wise.
Repeat or Don’t Repeat
This is definitely a project to repeat, but with the caveat of doing it with a smaller, older group than I had today. I think this would be a better project for a 6:1 kid to adult ratio instead of the 12:1 I had today.