Ever struggled to explain the order that components should go in? Need a subtle reminder, for students to follow? Or maybe want to mess around, but don't have a breadboard to play with? These are the thing for you!
Cardboard (I've used recycled packaging)
Aluminium kitchen foil
Thick marker pen
Step 1: Prepare the Components
The first thing you'll need to do is attach wires to your components. These need to extend the full length of the card piece, plus about 5cm on each side.
Step 2: Assembly - 1
Tape your newly extended components to the middle of the piece of card - I centered the component, and then stretched the wire across to the end.
Strip the end of the wire from where it reaches the edge of the card. This should leave you with about 5cm of exposed wire. Fold the exposed wire over the end of the card, and tape down the end.
Fold the card in half, to sandwich the component and wires in between, and glue/tape shut.
Step 3: Assembly - 2
Cut your aluminium foil into strips that are the same width as your newly folded cardboard. These are going to become the connectors/end caps of your components. Fold the aluminium strip in half, and half again, and then glue either side of your cardboard, so that it folds over the end, and goes over the top of the wire.
Draw the circuit symbol for whatever component on top, making sure to mark the positive and negative, if the piece you're looking at has polarity. I've popped a PDF file with a whole load of different symbols that we use in my school onto this file - if you have any difficulties with it, let me know. You could either print these in a large size and stick them directly onto your symbols, or you could use them to copy up from - up to you.
Use and enjoy! I have various sets of these, relating to projects that I run in school, and then some smaller (10cm x 4cm) sets that I encourage the lower ability students to use. These ones have symbols on one side and photographs on the other side.
The picture shows them blue-tacked to my whiteboard and working :)