How to make a Paper Circuit

>>> Print the Template (includes gear list). Watch the video clip for instructions or follow the Guide  <<<

What Equipment do I need?

The gear list is included at the bottom of  the paper circuit template.You can purchase some or all of these parts at Mindkits or Jaycar.
The cost per circuit is very low if you are doing it with a group - about 20 cents per student for the copper tape (5 mm), LED (3 mm) and resistor. The coin battery is the most expensive part and costs about $3.00 each. 

How does it work?

Any electrical circuit requires:

  • An energy source (in this case provided by the coin battery but it could be a solar cell).
  • An energy transformer - in this case an LED transforms electrical energy into light energy.
  • A conductive path to allow the energised electrons to flow around the circuit (copper metal is a very good conductor) back to the start.
  • Energy control - the switch to turn it off and on, and the resistor which makes sure not too much energy flows from the battery into the LED.

The main purpose of this activity is to gain experience with circuits and how they work, it is not intended to provide an accurate model of how a grid-tied solar array works (see here if you want to find out more about how solar works in theory and in practice).
















NZ Curriculum Links for Teachers

Science (Level 3 -5):

  • Physical World.

Technology (Level 2-3):

  • Technological Knowledge.
  • Computational Thinking.