We spent this meeting exploring paper circuitry. We brought in some snap circuits for kids who felt more comfortable or were interested in looking at a more structured way of building a circuit. But after a brief primer on the basics of circuits, explaining the polarity of batteries, the positive and negative nodes of an LED, the purpose of resistors, the problem with short circuits and the option of switches the kids set out with great ambition to build circuits on paper with conductive tape. We purchased copper tape that was conductive on the top and bottom, but the other tape we got from the hardware store did not have conductive adhesive so that had to be taken into consideration in planning.
We tried to steer everyone toward a simple set up to start and then building complexity, but a lot of our middle schoolers immediately go for their vision - some with more success than others. If kids got frustrated we tried to go back to basics and find some success before proceeding to greater challenges, but some kids just knocked us out with their deliberate planning and building of complex series and parallel circuits that were elegant and efficient.