Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

Over Christmas, my kids received a set of Squishy Circuits. I knew it would be perfect for some awesome winter science experiments. Squishy Circuits are basic electrical equipment that are designed to be used with play dough instead of with breadboards. It’s the perfect way for younger (8+ is what I would recommend) kids to explore real circuits and electrical engineering! For our first challenge, my daughter wanted to make a light up Squishy Circuits snowflake. 

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

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Since this was our first time using squishy circuits, we kept things simple, but if you are more familiar with electrical engineering, you could make your snowflakes as complicated as you like!

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

What you’ll need to set up the squishy circuit snowflake experiment:

We decided to make a parallel circuit for our snowflake because we wanted all of the lights to shine as brightly as possible.

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

We started with a ball of modeling clay as our insulating dough. We found out that for our snowflake, the lights wouldn’t light up unless the dough was flattened, so we flattened the circle into a pancake shape.

Next, my daughter added the snowflake pieces made out of conductive dough.

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

The secret to the circuit is that the long end of the light wires must be on the side powered by the red battery wire. The short side must be powered by the black wire.

We stuck the wires into the conductive dough over the insulating dough.

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

My daughter plugged in the battery wires, and we carefully stood back while she flipped the switch. It immediately made us remember the squishy lego clock we once made!

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

The lights turned on!

What Kids Learn Making Squishy Circuit Snowflakes

My daughter learned a lot about how circuits work, how to build a circuit, and why insulation is important. She accidentally touched the battery to one of the lights, and blew the light out with a loud pop. The makers of squishy circuits expressly state that touching the power directly to the light can cause issues like this, or even damage the battery. Safety is extremely important when doing this activity because the circuit may be small, but it is real electricity that the kids are working with.

 

Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge

Looking for more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) projects and inspiration?

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STEAM Kids Christmas Steam projects

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Not quite ready to jump in, don’t worry… you can hop over and grab a FREE Preview which includes 2 sample activities, 6 sample challenge cards, and the table of contents of the book! 

For More Winter STEM Activities, Check Out:

25 Awesome STEAM Christmas Projects for Kids

Simple Winter Science How to Catch Snowflakes

1 thought on “Squishy Circuits Snowflakes: Winter STEM Challenge”

  1. Pingback: How to Use Squishy Circuits: The Technical Side of STEM

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