Making party lights to understand electrical circuits and switches Students learn the basics of electrical circuits and switches by building a simple string of lights. Then using Excel, they choreograph their own light patterns that they can record and present.

Making party lights to understand electrical circuits and switches

Students learn the basics of electrical circuits and switches by building a simple string of lights. Then using Excel, they choreograph their own light patterns that they can record and present.

Project Basics

Takes 3, 50-minute class periods

Costs approximately $3.00 USD per student, excluding tools and microcontroller

Meets middle school NGSS, ISTE standards

Get the lesson plan

Materials developed in partnership with STEM teachers

1. Instructions


A step-by-step guide for building circuits and switches to control lights. Includes a list of things you need and detailed instructions.


DOWNLOAD THE INSTRUCTIONS

2. Customized Excel Workbook


A Customized Excel workbook displays real-time feedback from student built circuits and switches. Requires the Data Streamer add-in listed below.


DOWNLOAD THE WORKBOOK

3. Materials List


A spreadsheet with links to online resources to help you bring these projects to your classroom.


GO SHOPPING

4. Code for the Project


Pre-built code for your microcontroller to help you and your students visualize live data.


FLASH YOUR BOARD

Technical requirements

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Data Streamer Add-in

Modernize your existing copy of Microsoft Excel to support real-time data streaming in customized workbooks.

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Microsoft Excel 2016 (Desktop)

Students and teachers are eligible for free Office 365 Education, which includes online Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

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Arduino IDE

The Integrated Development Environment enables you to write code that connects your maker activity to a computer.

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Windows 10

This project requires a PC running Windows 10. To update your version of Windows, click here.

MORE LESSONS & ACTIVITIES

Hacking STEM library

Hacking STEM offers bite-sized, hands-on, teacher-tested projects and activities that use everyday materials to make STEM affordable, accessible, and fun for everyone. Browse our library for downloadable, printable materials.


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