Wearable light-up badges from the Ambassador FCL workshop!

Here’s a thread for us to share our wearable light-up badges, from the Ambassador Facilitating Creative Learning workshop!

This is a remix of paper circuits, where we focus on creative learning principles, and take out the complexity and technical troubleshooting element of working with copper tape.

1 Like

Here are screenshots of the variety of light-up badges we made!

A few highlights:
Seth @sgray made a superhero badge, Book Man!

Doria @dramos made a flower whose light gently flickers on and off

Coley @astro works with a lot of coils in her IT role

Clara @clarahendricks showed off her geographic location in her library system

1 Like

@LissaMonster I would like to incorporate the Paper Circuits for a program I am holding in February, ages for my programming are children 5+ and their Adults. What would you recommend to make Paper Circuits easier for the little ones?

1 Like

Lots of Melissas on here! You can find our PLIX Mentor Melissa on here as @LissaMonster

1 Like

@dramos Do you know what you want to light up?

Since your program is in February, lighting up a cardstock heart would be pretty simple. Wouldn’t need copper tape for that, either. You could do that just like we did our light up badges. Though it can be done with a copper tape circuit:

You can let them color the heart or write a sentimental phrase (You Light Up My Life!) in the middle. The circuit can be a feature of the design (on the viewing side) or you can put it on the back and just let the LED poke thru.

You could also print out simple critter outlines on cardstock and light up the eyes. (If you chose only ones in profile, you only need to use one light and could forgo the copper tape if you want to.) If you want to light up two eyes and use copper tape, you need to make a parallel circuit, which isn’t the hardest but might be harder for younger kids. I’ve done something similar with teens, except I printed out internet memes (like the cat with the laser eyes, rhino as tactical unicorn, derpy doggos, and other animal ones) for them to light up.

If you’re using copper tape, I have found that the littles handle the 1/2" copper tape much more easily than the 1/4" copper tape that is suggested in the PLIX Paper Circuits activity. So do adults, for that matter. :slight_smile:

If you are good with drawing on a computer, you can draw the circuit template on whatever you choose to light up so all they have to do is lay down the tape, LED(s), and battery along the path. For older kids, having them draw their circuit in pencil before laying down any copper tape is best. It makes them think about how a circuit works with greater understanding.

If you’ve got a whiteboard or monitor, it is helpful to draw a diagram of an LED, with the legs labeled (longer = +, shorter = -) as a reminder.

It is SUPER helpful to mark the longer leg of the LED with a dark permanent marker so that when your participants are splitting the legs of LED to tape them down, they don’t lose track of which leg is longer. The marker doesn’t make any difference to conductivity.

As a facilitator, my favorite of the Facilitation Techniques is Don’t Touch The Tools. Explaining in a different way, asking leading questions, and pointing are all preferable to taking their project out of their hands. To that end, I usually prep 3 to 5 simple examples of the same thing that are in various stages of completion. I have them so I can demonstrate where to go next at the more difficult stages of a project like this.

Oh! Limit their choices. Buy/make available only one or two colors of LEDs (and make sure they’re compatible ones with the same voltage). Only have 1 to 3 templates for them to choose from.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have more questions!

@LissaMonster Melissa—thank you for sharing your wealth of experience!

@dramos Doria—please note that as you draw the circuits, it can be tricky to lay down the copper tape on curved lines. Also, we updated Paper Circuits kit with 1/2" copper tape, per Mellissa’s suggestion, so you don’t have to worry about that part of it.

-Ada \(ᵔᵕᵔ)/

1 Like

Thank you @LissaMonster! This is Great… I wanted to include the Paper Circuits as an option to light up the cards. We are going to be making Year of the Dragon Lunar New Year Cards in February. I plan to use our Cricut Joys to make some of the cutting easier and just have specific templates for that. Light up eyes for the dragons would be awesome!

@ada Awesome change for the paper circuits… and yes… curved lines are hard…I spent some of my time during the FCL workshop trying to curve my tape and then I forgot the which was the short leg and long leg. I went through quite some tape and LEDs before I gave up and used one with the simple circuit :sweat_smile:

1 Like

This was so much fun! I enjoyed making the badges and seeing all of the super creative others!

1 Like