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Light Up Your Library

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Darshell Silva  

Find out how to use paper circuits and coding to bring new life to student projects. We'll cover the basics of paper circuits, adding coding with the Chibichip, and incorporating paper circuits into a library program.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: https://chibitronics.com/education/
Topic: Library/media
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Computer science, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Manage the use of technology and student learning strategies in digital platforms, virtual environments, hands-on makerspaces or in the field.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will will learn how to incorporate paper circuit projects, lessons, and units into their library and/ or maker space with an understanding that paper circuits provide a low cost and low threshold entry point into making for themselves, their students, and their library. They will understand that paper circuits provide an entry point into computational thinking while supporting creativity. Participants will gain hands on experience with constructing beginner paper circuits with copper tape, LEDs, coin batteries, and circuit stickers. They will learn how to take their paper circuits activities to the next level using Circuitsketcher , Makecode, and the Chibichip by adding coding to paper circuits. Circuitsketcher is a program that allows you to map out your circuits for more complex projects then print them out or cut them from copper sheets to be added directly to your project. A Chibichip is a programmable microcontroller board that is mounted onto a clip for easy attachment to paper circuits. Attendees will be given a second hands on opportunity to add coding to their paper circuits projects, practice circuit sketcher, or to continue practicing with general paper circuits at the end of the session.


1-15 Minutes: What are paper circuits? Why use paper circuits with students? How to use paper circuits with students- projects; lessons; units Demonstration of making a simple circuit.
15-25 Minutes: Attendees will construct their own simple paper circuit
25-40 Minutes: Adding coding to paper circuits with the Chibichip and Makecode; Use of Circuitsketcher to map circuits
40-60 Minutes: Attendees experiment with paper circuits; Chbichip/ Makecode; and Circuitsketcher

Supporting research

Hands-on with Paper Circuits: Quickly Prototyping Interactive Designs https://educhi2020.hcilivingcurriculum.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/educhi2020-final52.pdf

Paper Circuits: A Tangible, Low Threshold, Low Cost Entry to Computational Thinking https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1171459

Chibitronics http://technolojie.com/chibitronics/


Equity and the Maker Movement http://invincibility.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Equity-and-the-Maker-Movement-Science-and-Children.pdf

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Darshell Silva, Nathanael Greene Middle School

Darshell Silva has been a Teacher Librarian for 16 years. She is currently the Librarian at Nathanael Greene Middle School in Providence, RI. Darshell is a TeachersFirst Content Contributor, former Highlander Institute FUSE Fellow, a National Geographic Certified Educator, and a Certified BrainPOP Educator. In addition, she is also the secretary of the RI Society of Technology Educators (RISTE - an ISTE affiliate) board member, and a board member of the Steam Ship Historical Society. Her interests include books, technology integration, maker education, and community informatics. Maker Education Libguide located at https://technobrarian.fyi/MakerEdRI

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