Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Electricity Project Week - Dough Circuits

We have been making circuits using conductive and insulating dough. This is a project from the Tinkering Studio. You can also view a TED talk about using these materials in science education.

We made our own dough.

Conductive dough:

1 cup water
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
3 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon oil
Few drops of food colour

Heat it up in a pan over a medium heat stirring continuously until it forms a ball of dough. Let it cool a little then knead it.

Insulating dough:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons oil
DISTILLED water (look near laundry detergents in the supermarket)

Mix the flour, sugar and oil and then add distilled water a tablespoon at a time until it forms a dough. Knead it adding a little more flour or water if needed.

Keep both types of dough in an airtight container.

To make the circuits you'll also need LEDs and batteries.

Dough circuit (conductive - yellow, insulator green)

You can make models with the two types of dough. You need to connect your LEDs across 2 sections of conductive dough. Use insulating dough to separate them.

Our conductive dough is yellow. The insulator is green.

If at first you don't succeed:
1) Turn your LED around, they only work in 1 direction.
2) Use more batteries; although the dough is conductive it it more resistant that an ordinary wire.

Dough snake with LED spots
Get Creative!

Dough caterpillar with LED eyes

Dough monster with LED eyes

A rabbit


  1. This is amazing! What a great way to learn about conductivity! Funnily enough, I'm doing a unit on circuits with my Saturday group soon, so we might have to give this a try! Thanks so much for such a great entry!

    -Ang (angel1985 on Swap-Bot)

  2. Ohhhhhhh! Creative play - my cup of tea! Wow this is SO interesting, I had no idea you could do this ... and the pictures are brilliant, too (very informative - I like diagrams/guidelines to follow, etc.). Your little ones looked very proud of their work, and so they should! - Moonpoppy (swop-bot)