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.
These flat, simple materials make it easy to create circuits anywhere you want them.
3V coin battery (like this)
Copper tape with conductive adhesive backing (like this)
Storybook template (download here)
Buy your Starter Kit (5 learners) here.
Print out the storybook template.
Assemble the template into a mini-book. This video from YouTube user Simple and Easy Projects demonstrates.
Choose a story. Use the storyboard page to plan your story in four panels.
In panels 2-4, decide what visual elements should light up in order to enhance the story and circle them.
Using your storyboard as a reference for LED placement, construct circuits on each page. Then draw the scene around the copper tape and LEDs.
We're working to create our own step-by-step tutorials and a page of tips and tricks. Until then, take a look at some of these resources to spark your imagination and get you started.
High-Low Tech at the MIT Media Lab | Tutorials, templates, and information on paper circuits
Jie is a doctoral candidate at the MIT Media Lab in the Responsive Environments research group. With a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, Jie's work blurs the boundaries of science, engineering, and art by exploring the synergistic relationship between technical and artistic competencies. Whether making self-folding origami, paintings that change with viewer interaction, or interactive light-up pop-up books, Jie's playful investigations inspire not only with their beauty but with their implicit invitation for audience to become participant.
Our Hack Your Notebook series of mini-educator guides provide a pocket-sized overview of how notebook hacking fits into larger discussions of education policy, standards-aligned class projects as well as introductory activities. Created for educators in professional development settings, these booklets offer unique hands-on explorations in creative learning.
The L2P worksheet has four options for the Storyboard section:
comix, three-panel, scrapbook and callouts.
Download them individually below.
Download all four worksheets in a single file .zip here.
Basic Notebook Hack
These two resources were developed to support the Morse Code Secret Message activity found here.
Arduino Morse Code .RTF file
The Rhythm of the Light Worksheet
Part of what makes hacking a 21st century notebook so much fun is the variety of materials you can use to illuminate your thinking and engineer your ideas. Here are some of the materials we've been using and where we get them from.
A note on sources: These are listed in no particular order, although the first source listed is where we generally get that item. Make sure to check out a product's dimensions/length/quantity when comparing prices!
We work with our partner Lectrokit where you can order a starter kit.
We're working with CV2/Lectrokit to offer supporting kit supplies in two flavors:
These collections use 3v Lithium batteries with solderable tabs -- they're low-profile, letting you integrated the battery easily on your paper project -- and if your want to solder them in place, no problem.
Each kit comes with clip leads, batteries, circuit stickers from Chibitronics and a roll of copper tape.