#MakerFaireEL – LED Name Badges

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You too can make an LED Name Badge. Its simple and they look Awesome!

The MAET Year 1 cohort, has been looking at and preparing for our own Maker Faire (#MakerFaireEl) at MSU. The activity that our group developed was to make LED Circuit Name Badges. We chose this Maker Faire activity because it would teach the participants about circuits. In the process of making an LED name badge, the participants will be constructing and learning about how simple circuits are made and how they work.

Materials required for LED Circuit name badge.

#MakerFairEL Name Badge (white cardex 220gsm: 10 cm x 14 cm / 4 inches x 5.5 inches approx)
Tiny LED Lights ($12.50 for 80 assorted colored lights)
Double-sided Scotch Tape ($6.49 for a 3 pack)
Scotch Tape ($6.49 for a 3 pack)
Conductive Foil Tape ($2.95 for 50 feet)
Scissors ($9.99 for a set of 12)
Coin Battery (CR2032 3V Coin Cell Battery, $30.99 for 100)
Paper Punch ($10.51 for a set of 3)

LED Circuit Name Badge Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Color and decorate your name badge.

Pre-cut Name Badge

Pre-cut Name Badge

2. Decide where you would like to place the light.  Punch a hole in that place with the paper punch.

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3. Plan out your circuit. Decide where to place the battery and check that your conductive foil tape will reach the LED leads (small metal rods extruding from LED globe). For this project we pre-cut the conductive foil tape to lengths of approximately 5 cm or 2 inches and was cut in half, lengthwise to conserve the tape.

4. Look at the picture of the simple circuit as an example of how a simple circuit is constructed.

Simple circuit

Simple circuit

5. Examine pre-made examples of a circuit (if required).

Pre-made circuit

Pre-made circuit

6.To make the circuit, place the LED globe through hole punched hole and spread out the LED leads (small metal rods extruding from LED globe).

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7. Peel off the sticky side of the conductive foil tape and stick across one of the leads. Making sure that it reaches the other piece of conductive foil tape and the battery.

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8. Lay the coin battery on top of the first piece  tape, positive(+ve) side up.

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9. Position the other piece of conductive foil tape so it connects with the positive (+ve) side of the battery (the top). Peel off the sticky side of the conductive foil tape and stick across the other lead. Making sure that it reaches both the first piece of conductive foil tape and the battery. Use Scotch tape to stick the battery to your name badge.

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10. Make sure a firm connection is made. Stick all components down firmly with Scotch tape.

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Troubleshooting section:

If not working check the battery that the positive (+ve) side is up (facing you). If LED does not light, check the connections between the conductive foil tape and the LED leads.

11. Stick all parts down with Scotch tape making sure conductive foil tape has a good connection with the LED leads and the battery.

12. Cut a piece of yarn and pace through the card.

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13. Using double-sided Scotch  tape seal both sides of the card to enclose the circuit inside the LED name badge.

14. Place yarn around your neck and wear your new LED name badge with pride.

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Helpful Hints:

When working with younger children, create a simplified version of the circuit. Explain to them that there is a positive (+ve) and a negative (-ve) side to the battery (show battery) and also a positive lead (the longer lead) and negative lead with the LED light. Show the children that when we use the LED and the battery in a particular way the LED works and lights up. If we reversed the LED or the battery the LED would not light up. This method is very quick and ‘always’ works. The participants, especially the younger ones need something quick and simple that works.

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