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Earth Day Paper Circuit Makerspace Project

Project Time: 15 Minutes

Earth Day is an annual event that’s celebrated on April 22 to help bring awareness to environmental protection and conservation.

We created this paper circuit template as a way to help start the conversation about being more environmentally conscious. Discuss ways your makerspace can recycle materials or even power projects using solar or wind power.

One great way to tie this project into Earth Day is by re-purposing old worksheets by printing this paper circuit template on the back.

Project Materials

earth day paper circuit makerspace project materials

If you need the materials for this project, we do have a paper circuit starter kit & ebook available.  The kit includes copper tape, LEDs and batteries for 10 projects. Also included is a project ebook with 45 project templates.

paper circuits kit and book makerspace projects

Step 1 – Print The Template

Download and print the Earth Day project templates using the links below. This project comes in full color and a black and white version.

NOTE: This template is 2-pages in length. For the best results, print page two on the back of page one. If your printer doesn’t have two-sided printing you can print on two separate pages and this project will still work.

paper circuit earth day BW
Earth day paper circuit makerspace project

Step 2 – Apply Copper Tape

Apply the conductive copper tape to the lines marked in brown on the template. Smooth it down on the paper using your finger. It’s recommended that you fold the copper tape at the corners instead of cutting it. Maintaining a single strip of copper will help with its continuity and ensure the LED lights.

Earth day paper circuit makerspace project

Start by applying the copper straight down the circuit and stop when you come to the corner.

Bend the copper tape at a 45 degree angle in the opposite direction that you need to go.

Earth day paper circuit makerspace project

Next, fold the tape back 180 degrees and apply the copper to the brown circuit line.

Earth day paper circuit makerspace project

Make sure your tape has conductive adhesive. This will ensure the LED lights properly. We sell a paper circuit starter kit if you need the correct copper tape for this project.

Earth day paper circuit makerspace project

Step 3 – Mount The LED

Now it’s time to attach the LED to your Earth Day project template. Begin by determining which leg of the LED is the longest. The long leg is positive (+) and the short leg is negative.

earth day paper circuit makerspace project LED

Bend both legs of the LED at a 90 degree angle. Make sure you remember which leg is the positive and negative.

earth day paper circuit makerspace project LED

Tape the short leg of the LED to the side of the circuit marked with a negative (-) sign. Use short pieces of conductive copper tape to secure the legs to the circuit below it. Ensure both LED legs are making good contact with the copper tape.

earth day paper circuit makerspace project LED

Step 4 – Mount Coin Cell Battery

Cut a short piece of copper tape and roll it up with the adhesive on the outside. Place this roll of copper in the battery circle marked on the template.

earth day paper circuit makerspace project copper tape

Place your CR2032 coin cell battery on top of the roll of copper tape. Make sure the negative (-) of the battery is facing down on the template.

earth day paper circuit makerspace project coin cell battery

Step 5 – Fold and Cut Template

Cut a small “X” in the front of the template in the middle of the recycling symbol.

earth day paper circuit makerspace project cut template

Fold the template in half and push the LED through the cut that you made.

earth day paper circuit makerspace project cut template

Step 6 – Verify Your Circuit

Now it’s time to test your circuit and verify that the LED lights up.

earth day paper circuit project animated

Show Us Your Project

Follow us on Twitter at @Makerspaces_com and tweet us if you made this or another project.  We love seeing your makerspaces and the creations you’re making.

If you’re looking for more paper circuit projects, please check out our ebook which has 45 additional project templates.

paper circuits kit and book makerspace projects

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