Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Light-Up 3D Paper Houses

I recently started a maker club at my kids' school. Our first meeting is tomorrow and this light up 3d paper house is our first project.

I want my club projects to have some tech and have a lot going on the art side too. And I don't want the projects to be too prescriptive (but if I give too little instruction and I'll probably end up with a paper ball fight.)

I started with a downloadable template (there are many- I can't really link to one here because I used one that wasn't mine and I altered it in Photoshop anyway.) I just wanted a simple house-- a few outlines of windows and doors but that's it, so kids can create whatever kind of house they want.

I printed the template on card stock (whatever card stock my printer can handle and whatever I think my kids can cut.) I plan to have them color first, then cut out and assemble.
Detailed examples spark creativity, and also keep some kids from declaring they are done in five minutes.
I made a medieval cottage and a gingerbread house as examples of what can be made with the templates but I'll tell the kids to make whatever they want. "Your house? Great. Haunted mansion? Perfect. Dinosaur prison? Rock on, kid."
I've added these to home-made light sabers, Altoid tin dioramas, greeting cards, etc.
This is the simple circuit that goes under the house. A path of copper tape connects an LED to CR2016 lithium coin battery.

The copper goes around a green flap of electrical tape so that when you press down on the flap, the circuit is connected and the LED lights up. I secured the "legs" of the LED and the battery with more electrical tape. I also bent them so the LED is up higher/ more in the center of the house.

It works!

LEDs are often quite bright, so this makes my whole card-stock house light up but I don't mind.

It still works!
My ten year old says this is a cool project and she would definitely tell me if it wasn't. Without hesitation.

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