5. Tools, Recyclables and Scraps

These materials may require no purchase at all! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Recyclables and scraps from around the school — plastic bottles, toilet paper rolls, fabric, boxes, etc. — enable students to quickly build and prototype projects while reusing materials. Visit Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) for sources and ideas.

4. Paper Circuits

Students can learn the basic concepts behind circuits in a fun and inexpensive way by building simple projects such as light-up greeting cards with copper tape and LEDs. Once they have mastered lighting LEDs with copper tape and a battery, they can move on to creating more complex circuits using cardboard and a few sensors.

3. E-textiles

Sewing with conductive thread is a great way to build “soft circuits” and spark an interest in electronics among a wider range of students. Research has shown that the tools we use to teach electronics can carry stereotypes regarding whom they are for. By changing the tools, it becomes possible to interest a more diverse group of students and improve the learning of all involved.

2. micro:bit

Starting at only $15, the micro:bit is a great way to bring maker education to the classroom. Programmable using either text-based or block-based languages, micro:bits are great for students of all ages. The basic design of the board allows for a variety of expansion opportunities into areas like robotics and weather monitoring, as well as retro arcade games and just about anything you can think of.

Leran about the micro:bit.

1. SparkFun Inventor’s Kit v4.0

The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit v4.0 combines hardware and software to create a fuller picture of computer science and what it takes to create an electronics project, making students better prepared to enter the workforce of the future. Through this kit, students will have fun learning the basics of electronics and programming in a hands-on manner using the same tools professionals use. They create everything from motion alarms to games, and the culminating project is their own autonomous robot!

Checkout the new SIK v4.0.

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