Happy City

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Make a model city happier with LEDs, circuits, motors, and batteries! Groups can think, discuss, design, and build what would make a community happy. Kids can work as part of a team or on their own. They identify a problem and attempt to solve it.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • LEDs, assorted colors, 4–6 per person
  • 3V coin cell batteries, 5 per person
  • Aluminum foil folded into wires, about 5 per person
  • Masking tape
  • Paper clips (especially helpful if you use motors)
  • Lightweight cardboard, such as cereal boxes, cut in strips
  • a wide variety of materials that can be cut, shaped and connected (index cards, straws and pipe cleaners work well. Other potentially useful materials are popsicle sticks, wire and felt.)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punches
  • markers
  • Large sheets of paper to make a city map
  • Wire (optional)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Funding Source:

  • Noyce Foundation

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