Squishy Circuits with Dr. AnnMarie Thomas

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In this very first episode, we talk to Dr. AnnMarie Thomas, the founder and director of the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas. Squishy Circuits is about making dough that can be conductive or insulating. It’s like playdough, but the dough either conducts electricity or not. Using these two types of dough and a couple of food colors, you can create very “squishy” experiments for younger children – add a few batteries, leds, buzzers or motors and you are ready for a workshop at home or in the classroom.

AnnMarie is the founder and director of the Playful Learning Lab, which explores ways to encourage children, of all ages, to embrace playful learning. She’s written a book that’s called Making Makers and is also a frequent speaker about all things Creativity, Playing and how this affects Innovation. 

A first basic electrical circuit using LEDs, a battery and wires in the form of dough.
Image: Copyright Squishy Circuits (R) – Used with permission

I first heard about her via a TED Talk about Squishy Circuits – and that talk really caught my attention.

Images: Copyright Squishy Circuits (R) – Used with permission.

While Squishy Circuits is now also a business and online shop where you can order ready-to-use kits, you can still very easily create these doughs yourself – for example if you need more or you want to make the dough-creating-experience part of a classroom activity, like I’ve done it before. 


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