Explorations in Paper Circuitry 2015 Action Plan

This activity is an exploration designed to give students a chance to build a paper circuit product. In order to build this card, students will need to learn basic concepts of electricity and how energy flows through a circuit. I will use this with my 9-12 grade physical science class prior to the formal lesson on electricity.

Next Generation Science Standard –  Develop and use a model of two objects interacting through electric or magnetic fields to illustrate the forces between objects and the changes in energy of the objects due to the interaction. HS-PS3-5Science and Engineering Practice: Develop a complex model that allows for manipulation and testing of a proposed process or system.
Crosscutting Concepts–    Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system. (HS-PS3-3)
Disciplinary Core Ideas·      
Performance Expectation-  Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy. HS-PS3-3


Start a KWL chart with students about electricity. Then challenge the students to complete the PHET Models on static electricity.  Have students add to their KWL chart and be prepared to share one item the learned doing the simulations and one question they have about electricity that they want to learn more about. Explain that electrical circuits provide a defined pathway for electrons to flow and power electrical devices.


  • Explore 1
    Hand each student a multimeter and have them discover which items are conductive and insulating.
  • Explanation 1
    As you share the results of using the multimeter to measure electrical flow, add the words insulating and conducting to your chart. Also introduce the word circuit.
  • Explore 2
    Handout the Paper Circuit starter kits. Do a short demonstration on how to use the copper tape. Then ask students to work as far into the booklet as they can
    Explanation 2
  • Review the design features that allow electrons to flow through the circuit and make the lights work. Highlight some of the trouble shooting you had to go through and why those scenarios stopped the flow of elections
  • Explore 3
    Compare a parallel and series circuit. Build a series circuit and explain the advantages and disadvantages of each design for lighting the LEDs.
  • Explanation 3
    Use the multimeter to demonstrate how current flows differently in a parallel and series circuit.


Students will build a short illustrated story card or a greeting card that incorporates a switch and LED lights. Advanced students can add special effects with micro controllers.


Students completed projects and a completed KWL chart will be used to grade this project. A pre and post test on electrical circuits will be used to measure science knowledge acquisition.

Chibitronics Starter Kit $29
Extra Copper Tape 6
White Extra LED Stickers 19
Color Extra LED Stickers 19
Sticker Effects 19
Circuit Sticker Sensors 29
alligator wires
multimeter ziplocs
small binder clips
assorted microcontrollers and special effects sticker


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