Making and Tinkering Afterschool Program with Squishy Circuits

Making and Tinkering Afterschool Program with Squishy Circuits (PI: Dr. Heather Zimmerman) took place in 2016 within an afterschool program held at an elementary school in the northeastern United States. A 3-week afterschool program was developed with Squishy Circuits that uses playdough, LEDs, motors, buzzers, and batteries. The goal was to learn the concept of circuitry through making with Squishy Circuits. The duration of the program was short to fully experience the ethos of making and develop a maker mindset, but we encouraged children to push beyond what they can do and engage in trial-and-error spirit of making. With this aim, we provided challenges with little instruction that were designed to scaffold children to understand circuitry concepts. We hoped that learners create “their own unique” model as opposed to following the instructions from the facilitator.