Many paper circuit kits are being sold that include the materials and a few templates for creation. Although templates can be an easy way to introduce the concepts, I found the templates limiting.

Here are the materials and directions needed to create your own paper circuits, and create your own templates to sell or use in a classroom if desired.

Materials:

● Image (In this case, a shamrock) ● 1 coin battery ● 2 red LEDs ● Copper Tape ● Scotch Tape ● Binder Clip ● Scissors

Directions:

  • Punch holes where you would like the LED to shine through.
  • Lay your image over a blank sheet of paper and mark the holes.
  • Trace your battery in the corner of the paper.
  • Fold a corner over and press gently so you can see the circle imprint when unfolded. Trace the circle on the inside flap, so it is visible when the paper is unfolded.
  • Mark the fold line.
  • Plan your copper tape paths. Most run two pieces of copper tape parallel to one another.
  • Mark one side of the LED with a +, and one battery circle with a +. The Plus side of the battery and the plus side of the LED (longer leg) should correspond.
  • Mark one side of the LED with a -, and one battery circle with a -. The Negative side of the battery and the negative side of the LED (shorter leg) should correspond.
  • Place the copper tape on the paths you planned, and connect the LEDs with Scotch tape.Be sure the longer leg of the LED matches with the positive side of the circuit.
  • Fold the corner of your paper over the battery to complete the circuit and hold with a binder clip.

Standards:

21st Century: Elaborates, refines, analyzes, and evaluates their own ideas in
order to improve and maximize creative efforts
ISTE 4c Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design
process.
4-PS3-2 Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred
from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

Resources:

https://tinkering.exploratorium.edu/sites/default/files/Instructions/paper_circuits.pdf
https://www.makerspaces.com/makerspace-project-light-saber-paper-circuits/
http://ngss.nsta.org/DisciplinaryCoreIdeas.aspx?id=8&detailid=67