March 19, 2019

Introduction to Squishy Bits

By: Alyssa Dyar

We don’t usually think of play-dough as being a freeway for electricity. The Squishy Circuit kit in Ignite Studio shows us that it is! When we look at the ingredients, we see that salt is involved in making this squishy material. And, if we recall that salt is made of sodium ions and chlorine ions (an ion is an atom with an electrical charge because it has either lost or gained an electron, remember?) we know that materials with salt, even squishy ones, will conduct electricity.

What are they?
A squishy circuit is an electrical pathway created using salted dough as the conductor.
There are three main parts to this circuit:

  • an energy source (battery
  • a load or register (light, buzzer, fan, etc.)
  • a conductor (play-dough)

Make sure not to connect the load directly to the energy source so as not to burn out the load.

What can you do with them?
You can mold the dough into any shape and test the conductivity of the dough. You can also explore different types of circuitry with the kit, like parallel circuits or series circuits.

What do Squishy Circuits teach kids?
Squishy Circuits teach kids the possibilities of circuitry. They expand their interpretation of electricity and aid in the discovery of functions of the natural world. Kids (and adults) can explore circuit basics while expressing themselves through squishy creativity using this kit. Come to Ignite Studio and check it out!