Circuit Board Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Have you ever wondered how your cell phone or computer works? One important part of these devices is a circuit board. In this lesson, you'll learn what a circuit board is, how it's made, and what it does.

Electrical Circuits

Have you ever made an electrical circuit using wires, a cell (battery), and a light bulb? In this very simple version of an electrical circuit, the cell provided the electricity, which flowed through the wires (conductors) and the light bulb lit up!

Think about the cellphones, radios, computers, televisions, and other electronic devices people use every day. They all have very tiny electrical circuits inside of them - let's look at how these circuits are made.

Circuit Boards

Most of the electronic devices we use every day use circuit boards. The base layer of a circuit board is often made of plastic or other material that does not conduct, or allow, electricity to flow through it. This is important because the circuit is built upon this base layer. Electricity will flow through the circuit but not through the base.

Several components, or parts, are attached to the board and connected to make a circuit. The components on the circuit board are often connected with copper wires that let the electricity flow from one component to another. The circuit board can control which of the components get power and in what order.

When a battery or other power source provides electricity to the board, it flows along the wires to each of the components on the circuit board. Let's look at how a circuit board is made.

A Circuit Board

Parts of a Circuit Board

Think about your favorite cream-filled cookie. A circuit board is made the same way - in layers.


The first layer is made of plastic or a similar product that doesn't conduct electricity. This is the base layer.

Copper Foil

The next layer of the circuit board is usually a thin layer of copper foil. Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity. Some circuit boards have only one layer of copper. However, there can be as many as 16 layers or more in some very complex circuit boards.


In the pictures of the circuit boards shown in this lesson, did you notice the layer of green material? This green layer is called the soldermask (pronounced SOD-er). The soldermask acts like an insulator; it keeps certain components from touching the copper layer.

Using Solder to Make a Circuit Board

Solder is a metal, usually tin or lead, that melts very easily and is used to fasten metals together. The solder applied to this layer connects the components to each other on the circuit board.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account