Need an independent study or small group GATE lesson that will be a sure-fire hit?
Imagine your students had a personal desk lamp, the classroom lights dimmed, only a glow from a tiny bulb midst the quiet occasional rustling pages of novels atop desks. Ahh, peaceful! Now imagine the students built the lamp themselves—a miniature streetlight. They applied geometry and math calculations, constructed the light’s base from scratch and from blueprint specifications, and completed the wiring all on their own. Through an internet search challenge involving a vintage street light primary source postcard, they’ve gathered historical background. Put these pieces together and you have STEM Kid Constructions: Street Light Desk Lamps.
I recommend this set of lessons for a small group or for independent study unless you have access to a lot of low cost electrical components. Otherwise, the cost is about $4.00 per student (without batteries). I had 4 boys in a 5th grade STEM group, and this set of lessons was just right for us. I think my 4th graders could handle this with a bit more guidance, and 6th and 7th graders should be on target as well. But, hey, maybe you have access to a huge electrical kit? If so, then expand!
Estimated time to complete this project is 5-8 hours.
In this set of lessons you get blueprints and explanations, related math and geometry calculations, the internet mystery with ready-to-print activity sheets, Common Core references, explanations, illustrations, and photos to guide you on your way to these very cool little street lights.
• 12 craft sticks per student
• Low temp hot glue or regular glue
• 3 ft. ¼” square dowel per student
• 9V battery per student
• 9V snap connector with leads per student
• Lamp base and bulb per student
• 4 ft. of 16 or 18 gauge wire per student
Approximate cost per student: $7.00 per student—$4.00 without the battery.
• Craft Saw
• Low Temp Hot Glue Gun
• Rulers, T-Squares, Protractors
• Wire Strippers
• Electrical Tape