What sorts of youth projects would you run in a local Tech Center? How do you engage students and community members with “making” at a fun, accessible level? Below are three basic projects from the Digital Harbor Foundation that you can use for afterschool programs, camps, and Family Make Nights.
These projects are ready to go with step-by-step illustrated instructions, printable templates, and supply lists. All three use basic circuitry to create a dynamic and useful object, starting with a simple Paper Flashlight, moving up to a spinning Galaxy Bot, and ending with a dual-circuit Thirsty Plant Kit. Use these projects to get started or as inspiration for creating your own Tech Center programming.
This project is fun and easy for all skill levels. If you can fold paper and use tape, then you can make a paper flashlight!
With the Paper Flashlight project, participants learn about simple circuits by building one themselves with an LED light and a coin cell battery. This is a great project for someone’s first experience with LEDs and making.
With a hobby motor that costs less than two dollars and a few other basic supplies, you can build a spinning platform for creating art and light paintings.
Galaxy Bots is really two projects: first construction, and then creativity. Participants learn about basic battery-motor circuits and then get to create their own unique spiral drawings and long-exposure light photographs.
Thirsty Plant Kit
The Thirsty Plant Kit takes circuitry projects to the next level. A template cutout makes it easy to connect wires in the right order to create a circuit that interacts with the moisture level of the soil it is placed in.
Assembly of the Thirsty Plant Kit requires no special skills or understanding of circuits, but putting it together yourself helps you learn how the circuits work!
- Check out our Rec2Tech Blueprint Construction Plans and Equipment Reviews
- Sign up for one of our Educator Workshops for hands-on experience with maker education, 3D printing, and electronics, and access to a digital libraryof projects and activities that you can use to support your own youth makerspace.