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Scrappy Circuits: Invention Literacy From a 50-Cent LED Tea Light

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Saturday, December 5, 8:00–9:00 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Chris Connors  
Michael Carroll  

Learn about Scrappy Circuits, a self-made electronic-invention learning system sourced from an imagination and a 50-cent LED tea light. Add some cardboard, binder clips, and paper clips and start to build a network of bricks to invent with.

Audience: Teachers, Professional developers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: none. Low tech.
Topic: Equity & inclusion
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have access to the technology and connectivity necessary to participate in authentic and engaging learning opportunities.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will be able to give children a basic overview of inventing with Scrappy Circuits and make a set of 5 Core Bricks together for around $1 each. Then each child will go home and access and continue to make some of the around 30 Other Bricks on the website. Materials needed will be a 50-cent LED tea light, cardboard, mini binder clips, paper clips, and aluminum foil. Tools needed are scissors, something to safely cut cardboard, and a glue stick.


-We will discuss the purpose and goal of invention literacy
-Discuss the ethos of Scrappy Circuits
-Demo an LED tea light take-apart
-Build the five Core Bricks (LED, Battery, Push Switch, Binder Clip Switch, Dial Switch)
- Discuss the Inventor Bricks
- Discuss Scrappy Circuits book.

Supporting research

Scrappy Circuits is the subject and title of a book I am writing on the reason for, philosophy behind, need for, and directions to build Scrappy Circuits. The book will be released by Sylvia Martinez and Dr. Gary Stager through Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

More [+]


Chris Connors, Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
Michael Carroll, Abington School District

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