STEM for Kids: Make Your Own Calculator

Who doesn’t love a light to turn on when you figure out the right answer? Today I am going to show you my all time favorite experiment when I was a kid.

When I was in 4th grade, we were challenged to create a game to make learning math fun.  In my 9 year old opinion this was the coolest math game ever because my mom and I made our own calculator using aluminum foil and a circuit set with a light. Check this out.

What you Need:

  • These printable (editable) math circuit cards found —>here <—
  • Strips of aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Hold punch
  • A circuit set that includes a light, battery, and two connecting wires. I used the circuits from our Snap Circuit box. You can also find ones here on Amazon.

How you do it:

  • Print a math circuit card on cardstock
  • Punch holes next to each equation and answer
  • Fold the card in half
  • Draw a line connecting the math equation with the right answer using a pencil
  • Tape strips of aluminum foil over each line. (Make sure you fully cover the foil with tape)
  • Test out each circuit you created!

What happened: Aluminum foil is a material that can conduct electricity meaning electricity can flow through it. In this case, it will close the open circuit and cause the light to turn on.

Allie loved making up her own math circuit card light up and recreating a memory for her ol’ mom! What memorable science challenge do you remember as a kid? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Have fun making memories!


Categories: how to videos, STEM Tags: , , , ,