Thursday, March 10, 2011

Theory Thursday - Electronics 101

Well this week it was my turn for Theory Thursday. For Christmas Erika got me a couple of gifts specifically for me to do with the kids. (I know, it's March, but yes I said Christmas.) This week we pulled out the Thames and Kosmos electronics workshop_1. Now remember this is for kids ten and up but Jake likes the idea and his daddy is more than willing to mess with wires and circuitry. Some may have had a kit like this as a child, I did. You know the project board with all the insert-able components to build circuits. They make great learning in electronics, at least for some.

Of course the kit isn't as much fun unless you get to assemble the whole thing. As we cracked it open Jake told Erika that we had to be careful since we were working with, "all these dangerous things."
Get it all out of the box.
Break all the plastic parts out of the molding trees.
These were fun. A lot of little metal clips to insert in a lot of little plastic holes. They are what makes the kit like a breadboard for the projects.
We even had to bend our own jumper wires!
Now I am not as good as Erika so I didn't get all the pictures of assembly because some of it had to be done by me. Let's see you try to get a five-year-old to screw in a slotted screw that is only a few millimeters long and wide. For our first project we made a circuit with a couple of timers that made a pair of LEDs blink on and off. The book follows a story with characters to tell you what to do, but the kids were only interested in getting the "robot" built. So we left the story line on the page and followed the pictures. As we went I tried to explain to Jake what each of the different components were and what they did, but with all of them rhyming he got lost in their names. Alyssa, on the other hand, was in her own little world once we finished the assembly and didn't return until the lights starting blinking.
They were rather impressed with the blinking lights. And were in complete awe in the fact that if we pulled out a capacitor the LED would light solid instead of blinking. As I said I tried to teach Jake what each of the components did but he can't seem to keep them in order. He can remember what each does but can't match what it does with the proper name. Maybe if we keep it up he'll start to get it straight. Alyssa? Well, when we finished the whole thing I asked her if she learned anything and she very flatly replied, "no."
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1 comment:

  1. Aw, poor Lyssa. I completely understand. That's why Daddy is the one who does the electrical stuff.