During our two weeks together at MSU in East Lansing, the MAET year 1 summer cohort had the opportunity to experience a Maker Faire. A Maker Faire is a gathering of innovated and creative projects made by people who had a great idea for something and used their knowledge, skills and persistence to make it.For our Maker Faire project, Lisa Musgrave and I chose to make a quiz board using conductive tape. The board will have questions on the left with mixed up answers on the right. The user will be able to touch the question on the left and touch the correct answer on the right to complete a circuit and light up an LED light.
An electronic quiz board is a quick and easy way to check for understanding or give extra practice with math facts. It can be used in almost every subject in school. It could even be used for fun to play trivia games or challenge with brain teasers. The kids that tried our boards at our Maker Faire had fun trying to locate the correct answer. It was great to see how engaged they were trying to get every question correct and light up the board.
During the design process of making the board, Lisa and I used a lot of trial and error (and a little internet searching) to come up with a board that worked for us. If you would like to make a quiz board, here are our instructions:
Purchased on Amazon.com
- Conductive Tape
- Brass Fasteners
- Alligator Clips
- LED lights
- Coin Batteries
Purchased at Michael’s Craft Store
- Board Material (We used Foam Board)
- Different Colored Tape
Purchased at Home Depot
- Electrical Tape
Purchase at Staples
- Sheet Protectors
- Sharp Point such as an Awl
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Computer and printer to create quiz sheets
Step 1: Cut a sheet protector to be a little smaller than the foam board. Tape the sheet protector to the foam board using the colored tape so that there is an opening at the top. We used different colored tape for each board to make them easy to identify. The sheet protector will be used to hold a quiz sheet. Using the sheet protector allows us to use multiple sets of questions and answers.
Step 2: Use the ruler to determine the placement of the brass fasteners on each side of the board. Equally space 5 brass fasteners on both edges. Use a sharp point such as an awl to make a small hole in the foam board and then push the fasteners through to the back of the board.
Step 3: Use conductive tape to connect the back of the fastener on the right (the question on the back) to the correct fastener on the left (the answer on the back). Make sure you are applying the conductive tape on the back of the board. After making one connection, cover the conductive tape with colored tape or electrical tape to prevent cross connections.
Step 4: Place an LED light at the top of the board. Extend the wires from the light using conductive tape. Place the positive side of the battery over the longest wire from the light.
Step 5: Cut two pieces of wire and strip off ½ inch of insulation on each side. Connect one wire to the negative side of the battery using electrical tape. Connect the other wire to the other wire coming from the LED light using electrical tape. Make sure the wires come out from the back at the top of the board. Place several pieces of electrical tape to hold the entire contraption together on the back of the board.
Step 6: Connect alligator clips to the ends of the wires. The alligator clips we used required the needle nose pliers to press the back metal of the clip onto the wire.
Step 7: Test the board by holding the right alligator clip on the brass fastener next to a question on the left and hold the left alligator clip on the corresponding brass fastener of the correct answer on the right. If done correctly, the LED light should light up.
Step 8: Next you need to make the quiz sheets that go with the board. Write several sets of 5 question and answer pairs. We used Google Sheets to create our quiz sheets. It took a bit of trial and error to get the questions to line up with the brass fasteners on the quiz board. You can find a sample of what we created here. Make sure you know which correct answer goes in which line.
- Don’t use foam board as we did. Use something a little sturdier. The foam board was too squishy to keep a connection. We needed to consistently press the connections together to make it work.
- Make sure you completely cover the conductive tape with the electrical tape or any connections placed on top of it will connect the circuit for both question and answer pairs.
- Before you place tape over the LED contraption, test it thoroughly. These circuits can be a little delicate.
- Make sure you know which order the answers should go in before you print your quiz sheets.