Making Science Fun with Circuit GamesNovember 12, 2018
This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Klutz. I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own. #KlutzMakerLab
As a female engineer, I have always been passionate about encouraging my daughters to pursue their interests in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, math). We recently discovered the Circuit Games Kit from Klutz Maker Lab and we all had a lot of fun exploring the various games. After all, electrical engineering was one of my fave classes back in engineering school and I’m happy to share the wonders of circuits with my daughters. Thanks to the clear instructions that came with the kit, my kids were able to build several fully-functioning circuits that were both interactive and engaging!
With this kit, it’s easy to transform everyday objects like cardboard, paper clips, copper tape, batteries, and more into working circuits. The kit comes with a number of items to make building circuits possible: battery pack, wires, 10mm LEDs, copper tape, buzzers, brads, paper clips and tweezers.
Popsicle Stick Flashlight
The first project we tackled was the Popsicle Stick Flashlight. This kit made it easy to talk all about the basics of electricity and the science of circuits. Here are some age-appropriate concepts I was able to introduce to my girls:
- Circuits involve electricity (current) flowing around a loop.
- Batteries provide the power for the circuit to operate.
- You can add elements to the circuit (like buzzers or LEDs, light-emitting diodes) for sound or light.
- If you break the loop of the circuit, current will not be able to flow through the circuit.
- A series circuit involves current that can only travel in one direction. In a parallel circuit, there are two (or more) paths for current travel. We looked at basic diagrams of both types of circuits.
Thanks to this kit, these concepts became more tangible and easier to understand. Our Popsicle Stick Flashlight was super cool to put together! Since copper tape is part of this circuit, we discussed conductors (things that can carry electrical current) and insulators (things that cannot carry electrical current). Charlotte was really in awe of this little circuit we built together.
Space Loop Game
For the Space Loop game, we used a long wire to create a big loop and we attached it to a cardboard base. We set up a circuit using the battery pack, round buzzer and copper tape. Then we threaded a small-looped-wire onto the larger wire. Once the circuit is all set up, the object of the game is to run the small wire over the long wire without touching it! If you do, you will have completed the circuit and the buzzer will buzz!
This was another fun circuit game. Sophia really enjoyed the process of not only building the circuit, but also the process of working on her technique to keep the buzzer from going off! A fun way to play this is to compete with friends and see how quickly one can get across the larger loop without setting off the buzzer.
Feed the Shark
This fun game involves setting up a tabletop hockey-like game using a battery pack, copper tape, cardboard beach and metal coin. After you hook up the battery pack and light in a circuit, the circuit is open (not working) until a coin tossed up the ramp. If the coin lands in the shark’s mouth, the circuit is completed and the light is illuminated.
This one was a real success with the kids! They thoroughly enjoyed seeing that the metal coin is conductive, allowing electricity to fully flow through it. Plus, it was fun to test our aim with this arcade-like shark-feeding game.
Quiz Show Game Board
This fun quiz game involved setting up a series of five questions & answers on a cardboard game board. Hook up the wires in a particular order on the reverse of the board and this becomes a fun quiz for the kids. I started by writing questions and answers on the front of the board that match up with each other according to the wire connections on the back. When players touch the wire leads to the buttons of matching pairs, the light illuminates! If they choose a pair that doesn’t match, the LED does not illuminate.
This kit comes with a few sets of these question & answer forms, but if you write in pencil, you can practically reinvent the game’s questions/answers countless times!
I love that these Circuit Games transformed real lessons in electricity into actual fun & games! We didn’t try the fifth game yet (Operate on BuzzBot, a DIY operation game), but we are excited to explore that one on a rainy day. By the way, there are other kits available from Klutz, including Gumball Machine, Gotcha Gadgets and Circuit Clay. All of those kits sound like awesome ways to further spark a kid’s interest & curiosity in science & engineering… and that’s always a WIN in my book!
Super-charge your fun with this electrifying combination of five Circuit Games! Does your child show any interest in STEM subjects? How do you make learning science fun?