What a great idea and I have to just comment on the size of that solder gun. Guess they really needed to make a point. This is a great opportunity to expose kids and parents and grandparents alike to the technology and work together as a team.
Agreed, Beth. Hats off to SparkFun for enlightening people about electronics. Microcontrollers are shrounded in mystery -- most people have no idea what's inside their iPod of PC. Exercises like this help de-mystify it.
What an awesome program - I was very excited to find out about SparkFun and what they do. I will be exploring their website to see what I can find to help "spark" my own teenager's interest in electronics. That soldering iron was very cool and I enjoyed seeing multi-generational families working together on their boards.
Hi Charles - I certainly agree that microcontrollers are mysterious to the uninitiated - what a great way to get folks involved in exploring electronics hands on. BTW, your name sounds so familiar...does Test and Measurement World and this link:
Spark Fun has a great product line that includes many professional grade products along with educational and hobbyist products. When my son was in independent study in High-School I used some of the educational kits from Parallax. The labs, curriculum and kits were well thought-out and even fairly cheap.
Parallax is indeed a good MCU kit; have used them quite a bit. Don't forget the Papilio, an FPGA board for beginners. I wish the school system would teach this sort of material in a science/technology class for 8 year olds and above; I'm sure it would pique their curiosity!
Yeah, I totally agree with Beth. Everyone needs to be educated about technology and see everything form a scientific point of view. A wise old man once said that if you don't want to start a fight never talk about religion vs science. natural skincare
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.