We're hacking the notebook. Creativity and notebooks have a long history. Artists, scientists, writers, engineers, and other people curious about the world use notebooks to think on paper, record information, and express themselves. Despite the rise and reach of smart phones and tablets, we think there's a reason the notebook persists: nothing beats paper. That doesn't mean the notebook can't evolve.

Electronics and circuitry can be as expressive and accessible as art supplies or as complex as systems design and prototyping. I/O paper circuitry projects range from art and science explorations for younger learners to design challenges for high school students involving interactivity, networked collaboration, and introductory programming. Starting with accessible tools like circuit stickers from Chibitronics, creators gain the confidence to explore other more sophisticated components like surface-mounted LEDs, sensors and microcontrollers to add more control and interactivity to their projects.

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Illuminate Your Thinking - Basic Paper Circuitry

What if you could illuminate your thinking? Using simple materials like copper tape, surface mount LEDs and batteries, you can light up your notebook to literally highlight your personal light bulb moments. Explore basic scientific concepts like conductivity, current flow, simple circuit design, and mechanical switches while making your notebook come alive with beautiful electronics.

 
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Program Your Pages - Adding ATTiny85 Microcontrollers

Program your pages. Add more control and features to your notebook by adding microcontrollers to your paper circuitry. Make your LEDs blink in different patterns. Have them react to a light sensor. All this and more is possible with a chip, a computer, a few components, and the Arduino IDE. 

 

The 21st Century Notebooking program is made possible in part by funding from the Pearson Foundation, the National Writing ProjectEducator Innovator, and CV2.