Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Breadboard Based Electronics Kit for Kids

The Electronics Education Kit is a new Kickstarter project to release a breadboard-based project kit to teach electronics principles to kids. Here at TechAgeKids we often talk about the importance of kids understanding the technological world around them rather than seeing gadgets and appliances as mysterious black boxes.

The Electronics Education Kit (EEK) comes from a Dad who wanted to give his son a good start in understanding how technology works. He ended up teaching his son's friends too and now he's hoping to extend that by producing kits of electronics components with instruction manuals that detail projects that you can make with the components. 

I like the thinking behind this kit. I feel the same way about making sure my kids are prepared for the future and feel comfortable with the inside of technology not just the outside.

We've talked about introductory electronics kits for kids like littleBits and Snap Circuits, but the EEK uses real electronics components - the kind that you will find in projects by techie makers, prototypers and engineers. This makes it suitable for older kids and for developing more in depth and practical knowledge.

Using 'breadboard' is a common way to prototype electrical circuits and make hobby projects. It allows you to connect components together without soldering. Soldering is a fine skill to learn at some point, but a lot of kids will be able to understand electronics before they are safe to wield a soldering iron (and before their parents are willing to let them have a go.) So breadboard makes a lot of sense for this project. 

As well as the components you get instructions for a set of nine projects to complete. These include the use of motors, sensors and lights.

Some of the pledge options also include a digital multimeter to further encourage kids to really understand what it happening rather than just building the project and moving on.

An interesting addition is that there is also a focus on mathematically analyzing the circuits that kids with strong math skills will be able to tackle to deepen their understanding.

There are lots of single project electronics kits out there and there are other multi-project kits. It looks like the EEK is nicely put together and I like the inclusion of the electromagnetism project as that's a really important concept to understand.

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