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* = Required to complete one of the challenges in this guide

materials list

Office/General Supplies

  • * Cardboard
  • * Metal binder clips
  • * Paper clips
  • * Brads (paper fasteners)
  • * Rubber bands
  • * Scissors
  • * Tape
  • Glue

Specialty/Electronics Supplies

  • * LEDs (3mm, 5mm, or 10mm)
  • * Coin cell batteries (CR2032 type)
  • Battery packs (for AA or AAA batteries)
  • * Potentiometers
  • Switches
  • Buttons (“momentary switches”)
  • Buzzers (look for “piezo” speakers)
  • * Small Motors (look for “vibration motors”)
  • * Alligator clip wires (double ended)

Where can I get this stuff?

While many of the materials you will need for these activities are readily available at office supply stores, a few of the electronics components you will likely need to order online. Specialty electronics suppliers like and offer educator discounts. You can usually also find everything you will need at If you are buying a large quantity of supplies to run this activity several times or to stock a makerspace, consider looking at or for steeper discounts with bulk purchases.

How can I make sure the components will have enough power to work?

CR2032 batteries generate 3v of electricity. All outputs including LEDs, motors, and buzzers need to be able to run with 3v or less. Specific recommendations of components that will work with these batteries are in parentheses above.

AA and AAA batteries are less powerful than coin cells but they last longer. They only generate 1.5v of electricity. Using a battery holder that uses two batteries will generate more voltage. You can also pair coin cell batteries by stacking them if you need to power a component requiring more than 3v.

As you make your cardboard circuits, share your work with the hashtag #MakerPromise.

Next: Facilitator Guide