DIY Flashlight

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Hi everyone! It’s been awhile since my last blog post and I assure you that our students (entrepreneurs) have been up to some great work.

Last month, we focused on electricity. Like last year, we used Electronic Snap Circuits to start off our electricity unit. Entrepreneurs were given various kits that can be found on http://www.snapcircuits.net/. Through building airplanes and lie detectors, they really got a good feel and explanation of how electricity works.

However, this year we decided to take our electricity unit to next step. Entrepreneurs built actual circuits with real wires, batteries and LEDs. Before they started experimenting, a small lesson about basics was given and then they were on their way. We wanted to see if they could apply what they had learned over the last couple of years to practical situations. They made simple circuits, series and parallel circuits.

Now, our kindergartners, first and second graders built DIY FLASHLIGHTS. To do this, you will need:

  • A cylindrical holder with a cap (a paper towel roll with a cover works as well)
  • Three wires with alligator clips
  • One 3 volt battery
  • One LED
  • Two Brass Plate Fasteners (Can be found in Staples)
  • Electrical Tape
  • Three Metal Paper Clips
  • Nails

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How to make a DIY Flashlight at home:

  • Separate the two legs of the LED to make sure they are not touching or close to touching each other.

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  • Connect one wire with an alligator clip to a paper clip and the cathode (short leg) of the LED. This paper clip will be taped to the negative side of the 3 volt battery.
  • Connect another wire with an alligator clip to only the anode (long leg) of the LED.
  • Connect the last wire with an alligator clip to only a paper clip. This paper clip will be taped to the positive of the 3 volt battery.

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  • Using the nail make one hole in the top of the cap and two holes on a side of the cylinder.
  • In each of the holes, put a Brass Plate Fastener. Make sure they do not touch each other at all.

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  • Take the LED and place it through the top hole. Only the LED should show.

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  • Take the wire that is connected to the anode and attach the other alligator clip to the top Brass Plate Fastener.
  • Take the wire that is connected to the positive side of the battery and attach the other alligator clip to the bottom Brass Plate Fastener

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  • Tape down any wires to make the circuit stay in place.

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  • Put the cover on the tube and attach the last paper clip to the top of the Brass Plate Fastener.

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  • Move the paper clip to touch both Brass Plate Fasteners and the LED lights up.

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Your DIY Flashlight is MADE!!!

How does this work?

The DIY Flashlight is composed of a simple circuit with wires, batteries, LEDs and a switch. The power from the battery goes through the LED over and over again to light the LED. The metal within the brass plate fasteners, wires and paper clips forms a good foundation for the electricity to flow. Metal is a conductor of the electricity meaning that electricity can flow easily through metal. The switch, formed by the two Brass Plate Fasteners and paper clip, changes the circuit from being open and close. Circuits have to be closed in order for electricity to flow. The switch closes the gap within the circuit allowing the LED to light up. All these components have allowed the LED to light up forming your own DIY Flashlight.

Entrepreneurs had a GREAT time building DIY Flashlights. They turned out to be amazing. They learned a lot through our entire electricity unit and were able to apply what they learned to practical uses. I know I had fun and cannot wait for the next project!! For more information about GGKLI’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club click here!

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