Hanukkah is a joyous time of year – full of light, fun, and cool new projects. This Hanukkah season, we're sharing the light of our robotic menorah, the power of scientific discovery, and the knowledge of circuits and light. Circuits, the basics of all electronics and robotics, can be simple to learn and a fun way to connect our Jewish value of , repairing the world and bringing of light, to our love of science. Here's one of the fun projects we’re bringing to local congregations and day schools that you can do at home with your family!
A brief explanation of circuits: Electricity is really wonderful and can be a little tricky to play with. In a circuit, electricity flows one way – from the positive lead to the negative lead. The fun part of a circuit is putting something between these two leads in order to light up a light bulb, power a fan, etc. It’s important not to let the positive side of the circuit touch the negative side of the circuit (which is why we use masking tape over the conductive tape in the following directions to ensure that the two paths don’t cross). We also have to make sure that electricity flows through what we want it to flow through (the LEDs) and not bypass the light bulb entirely. Thus, we have to ensure that there is a separation in conductive tape when we attach it to either side of the LED.
Be sure that all parts are hooked up before switching on the battery pack in order to prevent a short circuit. Have fun!
For each menorah you build, you’ll need:
- 1 roll of conductive tape
- 1 roll of masking tape
- 1 piece of paper or cardstock (recommended)
- 9 LED diodes
- 1 two-battery pack with a positive and negative lead
- 2 AA batteries
This Hanukkah activity comes from URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy – East, a Reform Jewish summer camp in Byfield, MA. To learn more about attending this summer camp or others in the Reform Jewish family of camps, visit www.urjyouth.org.