Learning for the Holidays

For the most part we try to keep the equipment and software used in class open source and free so it is accessible to everyone.  We believe that kids should be able to continue creating using the concepts learned in class without any financial barriers, that’s why so many of our workshops use cardboard and craft supplies to explain big ideas.

Occasionally though, we do use robot kits and other exciting electronics that come with a price tag.  With the holidays coming up some students have asked where they can find the kits we use in class.

Hummingbird Duo Robot Kit

Available from Ed Techs (Australia)

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Why we use this kit: 

We love the Hummingbird primarily because it uses raw, electrical components.  An LED in the kit is exactly the same as an LED you would buy from Jaycar, they aren’t enclosed in any special plastic parts.  Built off of Arduino, the Hummingbird board makes it easy for small hands to attach electronics.  As kids age the board grows with them, flip it over and you will find an Arduino embedded on the other side of the board, ready to be used for even more creative robotics.

 

 

MaKey MaKey

Available from NiceGear (New Zealand)

controller

Why we use this kit:

The MaKey MaKey takes circuitry to the next level by allowing users to interact with computer programmes in a physical way.  Make your own controller out of wood and conductive materials and use it to play a video game, use bananas to play the piano, or create an interactive painting that reacts to your touch.

 

Raw Electrical Components

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There is a lot to be said for just playing around with low-voltage circuits.  You can break apart old electronic toys to source parts such as motors and LEDs, or you can buy the raw materials online.  Caution and adult supervision should always be taken when playing with electricity.  We strongly recommend using no more than 3 volts (that’s 2 AA batteries or one 3v coin cell battery)

5mm LEDs, Vibration Motors, Buzzers, and more can be purchased from Surplustronics (NZ) and Kiatronics (NZ).

 

 

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