ISTE Standards & NGSS Science & Engineering Practies

Monday, January 12, 2015

Girls Make IT: Circuits, Coding, and eTextiles (Model 1)

It's been a while since I've posted to this blog, but an upcoming event for middle school girls, Girls Make IT:  Circuits, Coding, and eTextiles, has prompted me to design a couple of simple (hopefully) book structures, one of which is being shared here.  It is my hope that these might be easily created in a classroom setting, to help get students and teachers making, and thinking about literacy and simple circuits at the same time!

The directions that I drafted up are also posted here; but, since I haven't taught this workshop yet, I'm not sure how fool-proof they will be!  To learn about potential pitfalls or unforeseen glitches that I encounter with my human subjects, feel free to check back here for an update later.

This project is a simple book, made with a pamphlet stitch, inserted into a folded paper slip cover. The legs of two red LEDs are soldered to copper tape adhered to the inside of the cover, and a slot has been cut into the cover to create a sliding paper switch.  I covered the ugly tape ball on the switch with a cut-out of a space ship.  Getting the switch and the LEDs to fit within the tiny space of this book took a bit of problem-solving and planning, which I believe is a worthy activity for any motivated maker!

The following tools and supplies will be useful:

cover-weight and text-weight paper for the book block
cover weight paper for the slip cover
1 X 3V coin cell battery
conductive copper tape
1 or 2 X 5mm LED
craft tape


pen knife
protective mat

Here are the directions for making the simple book block (Assembling a Book Block).  I chose this size, because I wanted this book to fit inside of the 3" X 3" circuit box the girls are making.

Here are the directions for making the paper slip cover (Paper Cover 1).

Here are the directions for creating the circuit and switch (Paper Cover 2 (revised 25 Jan 15)).