A young woman clutched her squirming infant and relaxed into the sweet smelling straw. Nothing about her circumstance was comfortable, but today nations revel in the wonder of it.
This do-it-yourself lighted stable would be a great addition to your manger scene this Christmas as you remember the Light of the world. Using batteries and worn out Christmas lights to design your own circuits will present a great beginning engineering challenge for your young engineer.
Lighted Stable Christmas STEM Project
- A broken string of Christmas lights
- Cereal box
- Electrical tape
Prepare your stable
Begin by drawing a line that approximately divides the cereal box in half. This is the roof of your stable. Draw a rectangle underneath that serves as the opening to the stable. Cut out a rectangle so that your stable has an opening.
Carefully poke a hole in the top of the box for the star that marked the birth of the Christ child, and another in the back of the box to provide a back light for the nativity characters.
Finally, paint the box. The top of the box should be black to represent the night sky. The bottom can be brown or grey to represent the stable.
Warning: This electric set up is for learning purposes only. Because of the low resistance, fire is a possibly. Do not leave this structure unattended at any time, and always completely disconnect the circuit. Always supervise children when working with electricity.
Cut several lights from the broken string. Strip the plastic insulation to reveal the copper wires. Test the light by connecting each end to one terminal of a battery.
Decide how many lights you want to represent the start and how many to serve as back lights for your manger scene. Do you want to connect the lights in circuit or parallel? If you connect the lights in circuit the electricity will flow from the battery to the first light, then the second light before returning to the battery. If the lights are connected in parallel, they will be stacked, and the electricity will flow through the first, and through the second equally. Which one produces brighter light?
Use the electrical tape to secure your secure. Then push the lights through the holes you punched and use tape to secure.
Add finishing touches like adding some nativity figures and some yarn or cotton to represent straw. Click here for a method for dyeing cotton
Have a Merry Christmas!