Pirate Ship Lantern Paper Circuit and Reflection

Hello All,

Our library, the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library, recently had a holiday breakfast featuring Snowbeard the Pirate, renegade brother of Santa. As one of the activities, I introduced paper circuits to the participants. This was my first in-person creative learning program with a PLIX activity. I was so excited to share especially since we had two sessions back to back. Full transparency the first session was a fail but unlike most programs that you have to wait a day or two to fix your actions, I had 30 minutes to recover, reflect and redo.

Session 1: I had my supplies ready. I had a sample. I gave instructions. I didn’t touch the supplies BUT I did come to the session(mentally) with a set way of how everyone should reach the goal, light the lantern. One of the mom’s said “The lantern was lit until you gave more instructions.” I was a little uptight. I saw my mistake AS I was making it.

During the 30 minute break: I refreshed the supplies. Gave myself a pep talk, Relax-Relate-Release with a little help from our Teen Librarian and started again.

Session 2: I had my supplies ready. I had a sample. I gave instructions. I didn’t touch the supplies and I stepped back to see how the participants reached the goal. Encouraged their successes and ask questions to lead to their own choices which in the end led to the goal.

I didn’t know I was so uptight. It was a good learning experience.

The Goal

Their way to the goal

His way to the goal


Snowbeard the Pirate


Simple circuit


@bibliosongburd007 I cannot even tell you how inspiring this is to read. The fact you had 30 minutes to trouble shoot a program and actually made it work is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing! I love the photos, too.

What a great program, @bibliosongburd007 ! I love that you celebrate the fact that there are multiple ways for kids to find their way to “the goal”. For some parents, that can be a difficult concept. I applaud your energy and your perseverance!

I love this idea. There is definitely an advantage to doing programs back to back. Way to trouble shoot!

This is perfect for the CSLP summer theme of oceanography! I think I might need to add some more lights. I kind of want red ones where each of the cannons would be…


This. Is. AWESOME. I’m reading about this to troubleshoot my own program and I’m loving how you’re encouraging participants to find their own solutions. Especially that last one! How clever is that!

One thing that’s come up is how the LED bulbs can flicker unless there’s proper pressure applied. I’ve seen some troubleshooting steps that I’ll try, but did you encounter this, and if so, how did you overcome it?

Also I need to learn “relax-relate-release” - that’s brilliant. And I love Snowbeard!

Thanks for your report! :slight_smile:

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Our little friends were liberal with the tape. We did not have a lot of flickering.

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