This past week has been a whirlwind of excitement, frustration, creativity and electricity.  When choosing my maker kit for CEP 811, I had originally decided to use the popular “Makey Makey” kit that I was able to borrow from a friend.  However, after doing research I found I was much more interested in the Circuit Scribe and immediately thought that this would be extremely exciting to use in my classroom.  I knew I was up for a challenge when I ordered this kit because I had not seen electrical circuits since my undergraduate classes at MSU.  I did believe that if I researched and practiced with the kit, I would be fine creating a prototype for this assignment.  I waited about a week to receive my kit and began working with it immediately.  I was so excited when I opened it up.

Screen shot 2015-07-16 at 4.40.06 PM

I wanted to create my own circuits right away, but I quickly figured out that I needed to go through the tutorial in order to understand each of the parts within the kit.  I highly suggest practicing with these tutorials before moving on your own!  Below are a few pictures of what I did during each practice session:

tutorial 2 tutorial 3 tutorial 4

After some much needed practice, I felt like I could do research on this product, and learn more about what other people were doing with their Circuit Scribe kits.  I found some great ideas such as light up valentines and Circuit Scribe combined with a Makey Makey kit to make a musical instrument.  At this point, I knew that I wanted to try to use Circuit Scribe by itself with some basic tools that I could find while thrifting.

Below are pictures of my purchases from Goodwill and The Dollar Tree:

buzzer fans goodwill

My shopping trip went well, and I found everything I was looking for at a cost of about $8.00.  When I bought some of the items, I really had no idea how I was going to use them with the Circuit Scribe (such as the picture frame), but I wanted to have multiple resources so that I could try out different ideas.  The idea of using TPACK and repurposing was not new to me because I had just taken CEP 810 and had practice with this concept through the activity, Cooking with TPACK.  I did struggle, however, to figure out how I was going to use my kit with these tools.  My natural instinct was to look at the Next Generation Science Standards website to see what standards were related to electrical circuits and what electrical engineering projects were evaluated for elementary students.  With this in mind, I finally figured out that many of the purchases I made would need to be deconstructed in order to work.  My plan for my prototype was to create a battery powered bedroom blueprint.  I wanted to make sure that it was as close to realistic as possible, so I even considered what sources would need switches, and what sources could be left on at all times.  Here was my original idea:

Screen shot 2015-07-16 at 1.13.46 PM

Here are the steps necessary for you, or your students, to create a design of a “BATTERY POWERED BEDROOM”:

  1. Buy a Circuit Scribe Kit. (Basic $65.00)
  2. Complete introductory activities within the kit to become familiar with the following tools within the kit:
    1. Power (battery)
    2. Output (LED light)
    3. Input (switch)
    4. Connection (transistor)
    5. Conductive ink pen
  3. Buy basic (small) tools that can be powered by a battery (9V or alkaline)
    1. Examples: fan, flashlight, alarm clock, light bulbs
  4. Test out each item with the kit (this will take multiple trials) to find out how they work in your electrical system.
    1. Some of these may need to be taken apart in order to get the most basic structure or wiring within the tool
  5. Design a room with paper and pencil that contains the following:
    1. Fan (deconstructed from purchases- basic motor and wires)
    2. Clock (stopwatch clock or a potato clock)
    3. Light (from flashlight purchase)
  6. Once you have the basic design, start to draw the locations of your battery source(s) and switches.original drawing
  7. Place your paper on the empty picture frame (for a flat surface) and place magnets underneath the glass in order to keep the Circuit Scribe tools in place.magnets
  8. Begin making the connections using your circuit scribe pen that connects each item (fan, clock, and light) to the battery and switches where they are needed.switchbattery
  9. As you create these connections or “circuits” test out each item to make sure you are properly connecting them in your room. Test out the different batteries to see what works best for each item in the room.light offlight on
  10.  When all circuits are drawn, batteries are connected, and switches are ready, try to get all tools within the room working at the same time.

working bedroom

Here is a video of the final product:

If your project does not work right away, try not to get frustrated (I did!).  Work through each problem one by one, and ask a friend for an outside view if necessary.  Good luck creating your battery powered blueprint!

As I began writing this post, I knew that I needed to incorporate pictures to get the learner to understand what I meant when I mentioned different aspects or steps within the process.  Being a visual learner, I typically look for “how-to” instructions that include a video or step by step pictures so that I have a direct vision of what I need to do.  I believe that the pictures help to show what the project should look like at each step.


[Electroninks]. (2013, November 23). Circuit Scribe + Makey Makey. [Video File]. Retrived from

Light Up Circuit Valentines – Left Brain Craft Brain. (2015, January 27). Retrieved July 16, 2015, from