Optional materials for building prototypes

As students get the the final lessons in this unit, they’ll have a chance to build physical prototypes using the Circuit Playground. While this can be completed with nothing more than the classroom kit, cardboard, and tape, there are lots of useful supplies that you could get to expand the range of possibilities for your students. In particular, I like to stock up on:

These are just some of the basics that I always keep around, but I’d love to hear what the rest of you stock up on for physical computing projects!


I am very much interested to doing this unit with my class. Can you forward me information as to how to get started? Is this just in the beta phase?
Thank you!

This unit is no longer in beta, you can access all of the teacher facing materials as https://curriculum.code.org/csd/unit6/ and the student facing activities at https://studio.code.org/s/csd6/ - The classroom kit of Circuit Playgrounds is available from Adafruit at https://www.adafruit.com/product/3399

How many of each do you suggest for two classes with 40 students?

The goal is to have 1 circuit playground for 2 students to work with. They will Pair program throughout the unit.

I mean the “other supplies” that Josh stated. I have the circuit playground. I want to know how much cooper tape, conductive thread, and assorted buttons for 30 playground circuit boards.

Josh, how many of each would I need for 30 circuit playgrounds:
Cooper tape
Conductive thread
Soldering irons and wire
Assorted buttons


I don’t want to answer for Josh, but this is tough because every class is going to be different with their own ideas and how much stuff they are going to use.

In my classroom I’m more comfortable with the conductive threat and sewable components. We teach a Lilypad unit in our elementary school so I have some stuff left over and I use that (example of some e-textiles here).

As you get more into the Maker Culture, you want to have everything organized and then you build on it as students might not use it during the current year, but next year it’s the “hot item” that every group wants to use.

If you are starting out, I would suggest (if budget allows) to get two copper tapes, two conductive threads, two kits of the buttons and look into some of the e-textiles that I listed. This would allow for at least two additional (besides the ones on the board) and enough conductive material to create something with some distance from it. I don’t do any of the soldering because we have a home and careers class in middle school so all students know how to sew, so I lean on that as a strength of theirs.

Would also suggest an email to families asking for “maker type” stuff like cardboard boxes, empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls and anything else for quick prototyping.

Again, the key is organization as all the raw materials start coming in.

Hope that helps,

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