Making Circuits

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In this activity, learners explore electricity and conductivity to find that many things conduct electricity including copper, pencil lead, fruit, play-doh, and even people! Learners set up a circuit with a programmed PICO Cricket, a numeric (Hex) display, and an alligator-clip sensor. Learners test and compare the electrical conductivity of various objects and people. Learners can also program music so that connection value of the circuit changes the notes.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • PICO Cricket
  • Numeric (Hex) display
  • Alligator-clip sensor
  • Play-doh
  • People


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Computing
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Circuits
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Music


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • use mouse
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0087813