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.
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:
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.
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
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!
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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.