Electronics bring an extra “wow” to crafts. It makes it not only a viable addition, but also a fun addition! Personally, I am very interested in Chibitronics electronics and purchased the Circuit Stickers Classroom Pack for my classroom (Chibitronics, n.d.). The kit costs $110.00, which I believe to be very reasonable, since it comes enough supplies for thirty students. The one thing I noticed was that batteries are not included, but I will find a way to fund them either through my administrator or from parents.
So, why isn’t everyone making crafts with electronics? I think the main thing that has held me back was that I don’t know how to do it myself and that makes it difficult for me to teach it to my students. However, there is no reason that my students and I couldn’t learn together. I know that it may take extra time in my already packed teaching schedule, but I could make the time. I believe it would be especially fun for days that my students have to stay indoors because it is too cold outside. I could also teach myself first and then help my students complete a project. Honestly, I think this may better the best way for me, personally. I will learn how to make one project and then teach it to my students. From there, they can choose the projects they want to do and create with each other or by themselves. I love that Chibitronics has a learn section of their website with videos. It is easy enough that I could have my students find and watch videos on their own (Chibitronics, n.d.).
I also found purchased a circuit scribe pen to try out with my classroom. I was a little concerned about the feedback people left about the pen, but I’m willing to give it a try and see if it works for simple circuits, like the ones we are using in our classroom (Amazon.com, n.d.). I watched the TedYouth Talks video (2011) and I was amazed at what could be done with a conductive ink pen. I loved the projects that they were able to build and I couldn’t help thinking about how creative my students are and wondering what they would come with themselves if given the opportunity. I would like my students to use their kits to enhance their artwork, make cards for parents, and possibly enter something that they create into our schools Science Fair. From there, I think I might look into other kits and ideas for my students, like the Snap Circuits, Jr. Kit.
Amazon.com. (n.d.). Circuit Scribe Conductive Ink Pen: Draw Circuits Instantly, Silver. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from Amazon.com: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OZATJ3A/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Chibitronics. (n.d.). Circuit Stickers Classroom Pack. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from Chibitronics: http://store.chibitronics.com/products/circuit-stickers-classroom-pack
Chibitronics. (n.d.). Learn. Retrieved July 21, 2015, from Chibitronics: http://chibitronics.com/education/
Ted Talks. (2011, November). Leah Buechley: How to “sketch” with electronics. Retrieved July 23, 2015, from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBp0Z5GPeI