Squishy Circuits uses play dough to teach electrical circuits

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About this project

What are People Saying About Squishy Circuits?

“I used it at home with my kids and then at an elementary school science event where it was the favorite activity of the evening. Seriously, I couldn’t get kids to leave so that others could experience Squishy Circuits.” – LeAnne from California

“As a librarian, I’m always looking for new and innovative programs to do with kids. Squishy Circuits really knocked it out of the park.” – Mollie from Texas

“I use Squishy Circuits during summer Maker Camp; in my Makerspace and share them with our STEM lab teacher. The students loved them!” – Judy from Florida

Play, Invent, and Learn with Squishy Circuits™!

Squishy Circuits uses conductive and insulating play dough to teach the basics of electrical circuits in a fun, hands-on way. Let your creations come to life as you light them up with LEDs, make noises with buzzers, and spin with the motor.

Who is Squishy Circuits for?

Everyone! Squishy Circuits has been used in classrooms, homes, libraries, and museums in all 50 states and over 20 countries. The stories and experiences we have heard are incredible, ranging from science fair exhibits to nursing home activities. Squishy Circuits has even been invited to the White House!

Squishy Circuits is truly for all ages – we have led events with 3 year old students who easily grasp the basics with just a little individual attention and workshops with adults.

How does it Work?

Squishy Circuits is very simple and is based on two play doughs – one that is conductive (electricity flows through it) and one that is insulative (does not allow electricity to flow through it). We are excited to have pre-made dough that you can purchase directly from our store, or you can make your own doughs with the provided recipes.

What are Squishy Circuits Kits?

 

Lite Kit – The lite kit is the most basic kit and includes everything that you need to make your first Squishy Circuits light up quickly and easily. It is ideal for classrooms, parties, or events where every participant needs their own battery pack and wants to get started building right away.

 

Standard Kit – The standard kit includes most of the components to be used with Squishy Circuits for more design creativity. It does not include dough, but the dough is easily made with the included recipes and common kitchen ingredients.

 

Deluxe Kit – The deluxe kit is our most complete Squishy Circuits kit. It comes with more items than the standard kit and comes with pre-made doughs so you can start circuit building right away! This kit also includes a deluxe battery holder which has a knob that allows your lights to blink and buzzers to beep at different speeds.

Why is your help needed?

Development and sourcing for the new Squishy Circuits Kits started in early 2015 and we have created strong relationships with our vendors. Now, we need the upfront capital to start production and meet our vendor’s minimum order quantities. This is only possible with your support.

Furthermore, we need your help to grow Squishy Circuits and bring hands-on STEM education to more people around the globe. Your support will allow us to expand the Squishy Circuits brand and develop additional projects.

We have an aggressive timeline and we are committed to delivering the new kits before the start of the new school year.

Who is Behind Squishy Circuits Store?

My name is Matthew Schmidtbauer and my Squishy Circuits journey began in early 2011 when I was an electrical engineering student at the University of St. Thomas and had just started working with AnnMarie Thomas (the creator of Squishy Circuits) on the Squishy Circuits project. From the very beginning, I thought that Squishy Circuits was a fantastic idea – and I was very excited to be working on it. After attending several events, I realized that many people were looking for a single source for all of the components required for Squishy Circuits. As my mom stated, “I wouldn’t have bought this for you growing up. I wouldn’t know what to call these things, let alone where to buy them.”

 

Although developing a business plan, sourcing parts, and building a website were not necessarily things I thought I would be working on during my free time that spring, I started learning more about the process and finalized the Squishy Circuits Store idea. By June I had gained permission from AnnMarie, Sam (Squishy Circuits’ previous student researcher and recipe developer), and St. Thomas to continue forward. On June 15, 2011, I filed the paperwork for Squishy Circuits Store LLC.

 

Armed with a small loan from my parents, I ordered raw materials. Upon their arrival, it became quite clear that “some assembly was required” and my parents and I began producing Squishy Circuits Kits out of their basement and garage. By September I had the first versions of the Squishy Circuits Kits available online and had started selling them. Learning to juggle school, work, kit production, and everything that filled the spaces in-between proved to be challenge, but, looking back, I can only think of it as a positive, learning experience.