Electric Pencil Sharpener

Ages 14+


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Sharpen some pencils — and your engineering knowhow — with a pencil sharpener you built yourself! Follow step-by-step instructions to construct the core, add the battery, and wire your mechanism up. Then learn about the invention of pencils, the evolution of sharpener design, and cool engineering features in your sharpener (like the limit switch, which lets the electric circuit know when your pencil is in the sharpener, causing it to automatically switch on)!


  • Build the base
  • Learn about the limit switch
  • Build the core
  • Read about pencil lead
  • Add the battery
  • Wire it up
  • Learn how to use your pencil sharpener
  • Read about the design
  • Learn about the science of switches and circuits
  • Learn about the history behind penci


  • Switches in Circuits
  • History of Pencil Sharpeners
  • Creativity & Invention

Using charter school funds?

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