Sunday, January 18, 2015

Squishy Circuits

In third grade enrichment we continued our investigation of electricity this week with the use of Squishy Circuits. Squishy Circuits utilize the concept that if you make playdoh with a high enough salt content you can create a conductive dough that can be used to build circuits!  The opportunity for students to physically build circuits and see how their manipulation of the materials turns on LEDs, or makes a buzzer sound, or drives a motor leads to high engagement and enthusiasm as well as a great understanding of the concept of electrical circuits!

Students cheer (I am not exaggerating!)  when their first LED lights up....and then they just keep problem solving and creating.  Students figured out how to make physical switches from playdoh and other materials.  Students worked in partnerships to brainstorm and create.  Beyond these partnerships though, I watched as students leaned across tables to give another partnership a hint, or challenge them to build something similar to their design.    As a teacher I am thrilled to have the experience of sharing in their learning.  One table or another is constantly calling me over to celebrate their successes or problem solve.

We were very lucky to have Vermont State Science Fair Coordinator Tricia Finkle visit our class for one day of our exploration and provide support and materials!  Some materials for this exploration were obtained through our VASE equipment grant (read more about this grant here: This grant support has made it so that each partner had a set of materials to manipulate in a whole class setting AND we have sets of materials for each classroom electricity maker space.  We are also grateful to all of the third grade families that provided our conductive dough!

To learn more about Squishy Circuits, you can check out the following website:
Or watch this great introductory video:

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