Review: Squishy Circuits

Programs, Reviews, Squishy Circuits

Robot Basics

  • What is it? Squishy Circuits are a set that helps you explore circuits and electricity using dough.
  • What’s in the Box? I used this set: http://squishycircuitsstore.com/kits.html
  • How Much? $25.00 for one set, plus cost of supplies for dough.
  • Age Range? Our program was for Grades 3 and up, but I think you could go as low as Kindergarten or 1st grade.
  • How Did We Acquire it? My library purchased sets after I played with sets we acquired through the ILEADUSA grant funds.

What we did

I set up the Squishy Circuits as part of my library’s new “Library Makers” programs. We are focusing on different ways to incorporate the making movement and also STEAM initiatives. Additionally we are just hoping to try a lot of new programs. Our program was for grades 3 and up. We ended up with 3 kids, one in middle school and two third graders. All of our attendees were girls, which I thought was kind of great.

I set out the two squishy kits and the dough. I also printed out a bunch of the ideas for making circuits from the squishy circuits website: http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/apthomas/SquishyCircuits/

The kids just experimented with the kits. They had a very good time thinking creatively and it was an easy program to run.

Time Involved

It is pretty minimal. I just had to spend about a half hour making the dough and then another half hour playing with the circuits before the program.

One-time or Recurring Program

We set it up as a one-time program, but this could easily be repeated.

Skills Needed

Motor skills to work with the dough, the rest is easy.

Good Stuff

I really enjoyed running this program. I think there is a lot of value in programs with smaller numbers. You get to talk to the kids and see what they are thinking. Squishy circuits could be done with bigger groups, but some of the magic of this program was that it was a smaller group.

Frustrations

I had trouble with one of my doughs, it was overly sticky. But I think that was the bakers fault. Although the dough still worked for the circuit.

Ending Thoughts/Observations

Try Squishy Circuits, it really is very simple.

Overall Rating

Great, give it a go.

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Review: Squishy Circuits

Programs, Reviews, Squishy Circuits
Squishy Circuits Kit

Squishy Circuits Kit

While not technically a robot, this is a good project to begin explorations. It helps participants understand some critical basic concepts about electronics: conductivity, resistance, that kind of thing. It is inexpensive, and works well with a surprisingly wide age range.  The TED Talk below the jump explains it in about 4 minutes.