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  • STEM at Home

    Discover science and connect to the natural world while staying safe and healthy at home!

    Check out our virtual programming schedule and browse through our list of resources, activities, crafts, videos, and more to help continue to bring science into your world.

  • Field Trip

    More than 250 interactive science, technology, energy and health exhibits await students of all ages.  We’re experts at making sure that bringing your group to the Museum is smooth sailing all the way. Discounted admission for groups of 20 or more!

  • ScienceWorks

    Your students become scientists during our ScienceWorks Labs. All programs align with National Science Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and Common Core State Standards. Labs are available year-round for preschool to middle school students and are led by an instructor.

  • Outreach

    Our Outreach staff brings the Museum to you—at schools, libraries, community centers, and festivals—by delivering hands-on programming customized to your schedule and curriculum interests.

  • Distance Learning

    Experience live, interactive Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum programs right in your classroom! Our educators use videoconferencing technology to share science and math activities with your students, engaging them in a dynamic, hands-on learning experience.

  • Scouts

    The best place for Scouts to explore STEAM! 

  • Summer Camp

    Through the Unity in Learning partnership, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Leslie Science & Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum now offer families incredible day camps at two fantastic locations in Ann Arbor and Belleville.

  • Birthday Parties

    What do you get when you mix one part science, one part fun, and one part celebration? A birthday party at the Museum! Experience a birthday full of discovery by exploring more than 250 exhibits and experimenting with a hands-on activity. Celebrate in a unique and interactive environment to make your special day really special!

  • Evening Workshops

    Want to dive deeply into specific topics? Join us for an Evening Workshop! Explore a variety of science concepts through hands-on activities, interactive demos, and experiments in a small group setting. Topics vary from stop-motion animation to computer programming to engineering – there’s sure to be something that piques your interest!

Back to Programs

WORKSHOP Circuit Masters

Outreach Workshop: Circuit Masters

Design, build, and test your way through understanding circuits and electricity. We'll practice our engineering skills and teamwork using our snap together circuit kits.

Fees are determined by distance from the Museum:

  • Within 25 miles: $340
  • 26-50 miles: $370
  • 51+ miles: $370 + $.58 per mile
  • Each additional hour: $125

Register today!

Michigan K-12 Science Standards


Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.


Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.


Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.


Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

Circuit Masters Pre-visit Vocabulary

Capacitor: Device used to store electrical energy.

Circuit: Path that electricity flows along.

Conductor: Material that allows electric current to flow through it easily.

Current: Flow of electrically charged particles through a circuit.

Diode: Device that conducts electricity in one direction only.

Electricity: Form of energy created by the flow of electrons.

Electron: Tiny particle that carries a negative charge.

Load: Part of an electric circuit that uses the electric power.

Parallel Circuit: Circuit that contains at least two paths for electrical current.

Proton: Tiny particle that carries a positive charge.

Resistor: Any substance that cuts down on the flow of electricity through a circuit.

Series Circuit: Circuit that has only one path for the electrical current.

Switch: Device that controls the flow of electric current in a circuit.

Voltage: Electrical push or pressure that causes electrical charge to flow through a circuit.

Circuit Masters Post-visit Activity

Post-visit activities provide your students with an opportunity to review workshop-presented concepts and introduce related subjects. Below you will find a classroom extension activity and a list of suggested resources for further exploration. We hope that you enjoyed our Outreach Hands-On Workshop and we look forward to visiting your students again!

Hands-on Activity: Conductor Detector

A conductor is a material that allows electricity to flow through it. An insulator is something that does not allow electricity to flow through it. The material that links one part of a circuit to another (such as a light bulb to a battery) must be a conductor in order to complete the circuit and make it work. What kinds of materials are conductors? What kinds of materials are insulators?


The following materials are readily available at hardware, electronic and hobby stores. Amounts listed are for individual students. Multiply as necessary for small groups or an entire class.

  • 1.5V battery
  • Bulb and bulb holder (always use a bulb that is the same number of volts, or more volts, than your battery)
  • Plastic coated wire (single core)
  • Wire cutters (wire strippers are even better)
  • Small screwdriver
  • Tape (electrical tape is great, but Scotch tape works too)
  • Assorted conductors & non-conductors (paperclips, rubber bands, marbles, aluminum foil, paper, string, etc.)


  1. Cut 3 pieces of wire into the following lengths: 2 pieces that are 5 inches long, 1 piece that is 3 inches long.
  2. Strip the last ½ inch of plastic off the end of each wire so that only the inner metal wire is left. To do this, use the wire strippers or clamp the wire cutters down gently ½ inch from the end, just until they start to cut into the plastic. Pull the wire cutters one direction and the rest of the wire the other way so that ½ inch of plastic coating slides off.
  3. Loosen the screws on the bulb holder. Wrap one end of a 5 inch wire around one screw and one end of the 3 inch wire around the another screw. Tighten the screws back down. Screw the bulb into the holder.
  4. Securely tape the other end of the 5 inch wire that’s attached to your light bulb tightly to one end of your battery. Make sure it touches the terminal of the battery (the bump on the (+) end or the depression on the (-) end).
  5. Tape one end of the other 5 inch wire to the other terminal of the battery. If you stretched your circuit out in a straight line, it should be in the following order: 3 inch wire, bulb and bulb holder, 5 inch wire, battery, 5 inch wire.
  6. Touch the 2 free ends of your circuit together. If all of your connections are tight, the bulb should light.
  7. To test for conductors, touch the material to be tested — such as a paperclip — with the free ends of your circuit. If the material conducts electricity, the bulb will light.

Suggested Resources


Baker, Wendy and Andrew Haslam. Make it Work! Electricity. Two-Can Publishing Ltd. 1992.
Glover, David. Batteries, Bulbs and Wires. Kingfisher Books, New York. 1993.
Hixson, B.K. Edison, Etc. The Wild Goose Co., Salt Lake City, UT. 1994.
Science Made Simple Grades 1–6. Frank Schaffer Productions, CA. 1997.
Tolman, Marvin N. Hands-On Physical Science Activities for Grades 2–8. Parker Publishing Company, Inc., NY. 1995.
Wood, Robert W. Electricity and Magnetism FUNdamentals: Funtastic Science Activities for Kids. Learning Triangle Press, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 1997.

WORKSHOP Circuit Masters


Library, School

50 minutes



Physical Sciences

Still not sure we have the experience you want?

Visit unityinlearning.org to open a gateway to hands-on discovery, exploration of the natural world, and experiences that take flight.

Through the Unity in Learning partnership with the Ann Arbor Hands-On MuseumLeslie Science and Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum we provide over 100 different  programs at our facilities, on site at your location, or through interactive video conferencing.