Materials for the lights:
- Film canisters. You may have to explain to younger makers what film is. ;)
- Magnets. The more powerful the magnets the more powerful the generator will be. I used 1" rare earth ring magnets; they fit very well in the film canisters.
- Magnet wire. This is copper wire coated with a thin enamel. Anything thinner than 25 gauge wire should do and you probably need 10'-15' of wire per generator. Ebay is a good source.
- LEDs. I used 10mm blue LEDs but any normal LEDs should do.
- Thin cardboard, like from a cereal box.
- Tape, preferably electrical tape.
You really only need some scissors and sandpaper for tools. No soldering is necessary. An X-acto knife would be handy.
Obligatory safety message: Rare earth magnets are strong
and they can painfully pinch fingers. They will snap together astonishingly fast. They are also brittle and will shatter into a thousand little pieces if they snap together from more than a few inches. Kids can't help themselves and will test to see how far apart they can hold the magnets before they attract each other. This will