Join Karen as she shares her enthusiasm for teaching STEM subjects, gives you what you need to know to get started on electronics projects, and more.
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Make Your Own!
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This is a great, DIY Beginner electronics project good for elementary school levels and up. I’ve even had Pre-K children use these, but most of them still needed a little help. For our circuit blocks, we’re going to include three main types of components: power sources, loads, and interrupts.
The power sources we’ll use will be batteries, which provide DC power or direct current power, meaning a current that flows in one direction. I recommend 2AA 3V battery packs, and maybe a 4AA 6V battery pack. You could even use a 9V battery and clip if you’d like. You’ll need to be careful with more than 3V, but I’ll explain why later.
The load in a circuit is anything that consumes power. We’ll be using LEDs, motors, buzzers, and fans. You can also use incandescent lights from either strand holiday lights or buying sockets that hold bulbs. Ideally you’ll want components that are rated for around 3V and for DC power.
For motors and fans, they may be rated for more power, but try to get as low as you can near 3V. These motors and fans can handle more power, but will still work at 3V. Most LEDs are rated for 1.5-3V DC. Be careful with the LEDs. If they are fed too many volts, they’ll burn out and stop working. While that’s true for most components, LEDs tend to be less tolerant to voltages above their rating. We’ll also make blocks with interrupts, like buttons, switches, and potentiometers.