Now is the perfect time to give a homemade creation to a friend or family member to brighten their day. With a few simple materials you might already have at home, you can design and construct a special greeting card, complete with its own little light to spread some sunshine. The best part is, it will be fun to make using your design and engineering skills and a whole lot of creativity!
3V coin battery
Copper tape, 1/4″
5mm LED (Light Emitting Diode)
Small paper clip (non-coated)
1. Fold a sheet of cardstock in half. If you already have a design in mind, go ahead and draw the design on the front of the card. Keep in mind where in your design you would like the LED to light up.
2. Using a push pin, poke a hole where you want to place your LED.
3. Open the card and draw a simple circuit on the left side using your LED hole as a guide.
4. Peel away the paper backing from the copper tape and stick down along the lines of the circuit.
5. Place a glue dot to the back of the coin battery and place it on the copper tape as shown.
6. The last copper tape line also will form a paper clip holder. Start by folding the copper tape onto itself, sticking the adhesive sides together to form a flap.
7. Open the paper clip a quarter of the way and slide it under the flap. Make sure the paper clip is close enough so that the upper part of the paper clip will touch the coin battery.
8. Tape the paper clip onto the circuit, then fold the paper clip closed.
9. Identify the long wire of an LED. This is the positive (+) wire. The shorter wire is negative (-).
10. Bend the wires, then position the longer wire on the positive side (+) and the shorter wire on the negative side (-) of the circuit.
11. Use tape to hold the LED down to the copper tape.
12. Glue the card shut and secure with paper clips around the perimeter.
13. Locate the coin battery and test the LED lights up.
14. If you didn’t decorate your card at the beginning, you can decorate your card now. Be sure to draw a circle and write “Press Here”.
15. Give your groovy LED card to a STEM Friend and light up their life!
For more challenging play try a monthly-themed Groovy Lab in a Box. There is no better way to educate your STEMists than to keep their minds screen-free, design learning to create and solve, through the engineering design process and STEM-related activities. Furthermore, our monthly box activates thinking, questioning, inquiring and original creation as we guide children through scientific inquiry and engineering design process.
For more about circuits and robotics check out our “Groovy Bots” box for a Lesson in Robotics. During your ENGINEERING DESIGN CHALLENGE you will learn about circuits, motors, switches, robotics, and much, much more.