Dance Pad Mania

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Make your own "Dance Dance Revolution" dance pad! In this design challenge activity, learners work in teams to build a dance pad that lets you use your feet to sound a buzzer or flash a light. The activity is a fun, hands-on way for learners to get a taste for the design process as they are encouraged to "build, test, and redesign."

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1.5-volt AA battery
  • AA battery holder (optional)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Bulb holders for light bulbs (enough for half the group)
  • Buzzers (enough for half the group)
  • 2 11 x 17-inch sheets of corrugated cardboard (per team)
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical wire (22-gauge works well)
  • Light bulbs that can run on a 1.5-volt AA battery
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scissors
  • Wire strippers


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Circuits
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Performing Arts
  • Physical Activity
  • Sports and Exercise
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • hear
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Design Squad Nation


Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0810996