The girls were tasked with creating simple circuits using wire, 3 volt batteries, and LEDs. They were then able to decorate them into bracelets using beads and pipe cleaners.
There were challenges ahead as the girls had to determine the polarity of the LED so they could place it correctly in their circuit. The act of getting the LED to stay firmly attached to their wire was also a difficult process, but the girls pushed through and they all went home with working circuits.
There’s still some work to be done, when asked what I could do differently as an instructor, the girls unanimously agreed that I could make it easier and give them the answer of how to painlessly attach the LED to the wire. I understand where they are coming from, but part of the process of making is to discover these things on your own, to become innovators. That said, there was still quite a bit of innovation taking place. Some of the girls decided that they would prefer tiaras to bracelets, so they remixed the project to include a headband made out of pipe cleaners, upon which they attached their circuit.
I really hope that we are able to return soon, as we ran out of time and actually had a second project planned. Not going to give away too much, but this particular project will force the girls to get out of their comfort zones and begin thinking in fresh, new ways. Life doesn’t always give you all the answers and neither does making!