How are electronics viable additions to “crafting” for today’s young person?
Using electronics to craft is a way to combine art, design, and science, further supporting the problem-solving attitude that so many of these emerging technologies promote. It allows students to use their creativity and imagination to create will learning and exploring with science and math.
I can really see using electronics to craft in a MakerSpace in my classroom. It would be fun to use circuit stickers from Chibitronics or using squishy circuits to introduce simple circuits to even the youngest of students and then offer them space to create within a Genius Hour or Maker Space setting. As Leah Buechley (2012) says in her Ted Talk on how to sketch with electronics, using a conductive pen and circuit stickers you can now play, build, an sketch with electronics in a new way—anything that you can do with paper you can now do with electronics. I can imagine my second graders really enjoying making a picture or card light up or play music!
If we were to bring electronics into the classroom as an addition to crafting, it would require motivated teachers that were willing to learn something new. On the Squishy Circuits website, they have a whole set of videos on how to get started with learning about and teaching young children about squishy circuits, including how to make the conductive and insulating dough, squishy circuit basics, hardware and fun projects. There are even more tutorials available on the CrowdSupply website, but both of these options would require the teacher to be motivated to seek learning on their own.
Ted Talks (2012, Nov 15). Leah Buechley: How to sketch with electronics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTBp0Z5GPeI
Squishy Circuits http://courseweb.stthomas.edu/apthomas/SquishyCircuits/videos2.htm
Bunnie & Jie Qi. Circuit Stickers. Retreived from: https://www.crowdsupply.com/chibitronics/circuit-stickers