"Catch the Bug" The Ultimate Electronics Activity



Grab a net and a soldering iron — Catch the Bug is a DIY electronics project that'll have your kids buzzing

An activity fit for all ages, students will explore and learn electrical concepts on the road to constructing their own electronic bug. Watch their eyes light up as the motors zip to life and their bug really scuttles across the floor, using it's "feelers" to detect obstacles and correct its path!

This is a physical interactive experience that yields strong, long-lasting understanding, making electrical concepts more fun than ever before!

Bug Educational Goals

Classes Using the Bug:
Technology, Engineering, Science, Vocational After School, Home

Age Level:
Ages 13 and above; Bugs are used from middle school to university levels

The Bug Activity...

  • makes electrical concepts interesting and understandable
  • appeals to a multitude of abilities, ages and knowledge levels
  • allows students to work at their own level and pace
  • challenges students to gain a higher level of understanding
  • provides additional challenges for advanced students
  • provides structure and support for students with limited understanding
  • challenges and engages students like no other electronics project
  • teaches electrical concepts using exciting physical feedback
  • allows students to take ownership in the learning process, and take home the finished bug
  • surprisingly inexpensive

Bugs Teach:

  • Electrical Circuits
  • Current
  • Voltage
  • Resistance
  • Switches
  • Schematic Diagrams
  • Soldering Techniques

Completing the

Catch the Bug Activity (Ages 9 and up)

When working with kids on this activity, you have two paths you can follow:>

  • Choice #1 With Labs: Start with the Build Guide. After you build the basic bug, move on to the Electronics Lab to learn the fundamentals of electronics. Then, in the Final Wiring.document, permanent wires are soldered on to bring the bug to “life”. This option works well when you want to teach this activity to a class or during a visit to a Makerspace.
  • Choice #2 Without Labs: Go straight to the Build a Bug Guide. This option works well when you’re doing the activity outside of a classroom, in a maker space, as a self-directed activity, or just for fun.

     Body Build Guide     

  • Body Build Guide: PDF --Follow this Guide to construct the mechanical portion of the Bug.

     Electronics Lab     

  • Electronics Lab: PDF--Answer Key--After the body is built, learn the fundamentals of electronics with this lab.

     Final Wiring     

  • Final Wiring: PDF-- Permanent wires are soldered on to bring the Bug to life.

     Build a Bug     

  • Build a Bug: PDF --Start to finish Bug building, with soldering of wires at the end.


     Optional Resources     

Electromagnet For Fun Build Guide Download the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook

Available at two different learning levels, the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook is designed to help students cycle thru the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. It is recommended that extra pages are printed and on-hand during activities.



STEAM Market-It Challenge

Add the STEAM Market-It Challenge to any completed TeacherGeek activity to teach students how to turn their TeacherGeek design into a retail product. Students will learn the 4 'Ps' of marketing - Product, Placement, Price and Promotion. Students have the option of completing a commercial, a billboard or retail packaging as a summative assessment.

TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need

What tools will you need to build this activity?


Process Description

Recommended Tool 

Alternate Tool

Screwdriver Tighten and loosen screws

#1 Screwdriver



Wire striping / crimping

Strip wire insulation and Crimp spade connector on.

Crimping/Stripping Tool

Wire Stripper and Pliers




Soldering wires to motors or other wires 

Soldering Iron Package





Heats plastic and allows it to bend

Strip Heater 

Blow Dryer, Heat gun, Hot water

Measuring Measure output voltage

Digital Multimeter




Acts as the load; allowing multi-meter to give a more accurate reading

Resistor (2.7 ohm)



Connecting Wires

Connects wires without having to solder or crimp 

Alligator Clips


Additional Supplies Needed to Build a Bug:

  • Safety Glasses
  • AA Batteries (2 per Bug)

Bug Components

What's in the "Catch the Bug" Electronics Activity?

Component: 50pk Quantity: 10pk Quantity: Single Quantity:
Bug Motors 100 20 2
Bug Switches 100 20 2
Feeler Tubbing 5 1 1
Bug Tires 5 1 1
Feeler Wires 100 20 2
5/8 Screws 200 40 4
Spade Connectors 50 10 1
Battery Holders 50 10 1
Bug Bodies 50 10 1
Colored Bug Wire 50 10 1
1/4 Screws 100 20 2


This is an educational product and not a toy. It is intended for use by ages 9 and above with adult supervision.

Science, Math & Engineering Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Standards Download - PDF
NGSS Standards Spreadsheet - Editable /Searchable Excel Sheet

International Technology & Engineering Educators' Association Standards
ITEEA Standards Download - PDF
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet - Editable/Searchable Excel Sheet


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