15-30 min
In Progress
Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Circuits in Motion

30-45 min

Novice

Ages 8-13

What Will You Learn?

Let’s jump in and put some circuits to work. We’ll explore circuits and make a moving race car with a vibrating offset motor. For this project, we’re using the Lectrify Shake It Board which includes the motor, the battery pack, and a switch all in one piece.

This project is a sample from our Circuit Scouts Kit, available in the Maker Shed with all the materials you need, a guidebook and educator’s curriculum.

Make a Racer

Step 1

Build your paper racer model.

  1. Color your race car template as desired. (Note: Print at actual size. Do not “fit to page”. If desired, a template sized to 8.5″ x 11″ paper with two racers is available. An SVG for digital cutting is also available. Note that the length of the racer should be 7.125″ for the ShakeIt Board to fit properly.)

  2. Assemble the paper template. (Figure 1a)

  3. Cut along the solid lines.

  4. Fold along the dotted lines.

  5. Glue or tape the tabs into place.

Step 2

Let’s add the motor and switch.

  1. Slip the Shake It Board into the body of the racer.

  2. Turn on the switch. (Figures 1b, 1c) What happens? Why?

Step 3

Time to customize!

  1. Gather materials such as drinking straws, pipe cleaners, paperclips, buttons, etc. Try making wheels or blades for your racer. How can you reduce friction so that the car moves more quickly? (Figure 1c)

  2. Try adding weight to different parts of the car to see how it affects the motion. Does the weight of the car affect the motion? How? Why?

Figure 1a
Figure 1b
Figure 1c
Figure 1d

What's Next?

Take what you’ve learned and make your creation better. How can you improve on your vibrobot? Use these ideas as inspiration to create your own version of a vibrobot.

Have more time and looking for a challenge?

Try creating an origami circuit that moves, like this Origami Ladybug VibroBot or Origami Spider Vibrobot.

Need more inspiration? Visit our Maker Camp Projects Gallery for more ideas.

Maker Camp June 14, 2021
Maker Camp is a do-it-yourself online resource to help leaders like you organize a summer camp that engages children in making. Our goal is to provide you and your campers with the inspiration and the helpful resources, along with many possible projects to fit a wide range of interests and abilities. The idea is to focus on making as a playful, social activity. Maker Camp provides enough support for anyone to get started. Making provides experiences that help children become self-directed learners and good problem-solvers.
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