Giveaway: Crafty Kids Guide to DIY Electronics and Chibitronics Kit!

Have you checked out Helen Leigh’s amazing maker book yet?

 

If not, you are going to want to get a copy of the Crafty Kids Guide to DIY Electronics for your library (or yourself) ASAP!

About the Projects

This maker project book is broken up into four parts:

  • Paper Circuits
  • Soft Circuits (Sewing Circuits)
  • Wearables ( Which combine the knowledge of the previous two chapters to create unique wearable creations!)
  • Robots

Helen has some really fun paper circuit projects that utilize regular LEDs and Chibitronics LED stickers (which are some LED circuit stickers that I’m a tad obsessed with. Read my posts about Chibi stickers here.)

My 9 year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed making and hacking the cardboard doorbell!

 

 

I also love her ideas for introducing soft circuits, like the Circuit Sampler which will help young makers learn about short circuits, series circuits, and parallel circuits. I also personally really want to make the “Grumpy Monster with a DIY tilt sensor.”

The wearable projects are interesting and the robot projects are all doable for kids ages 8 and up! (Or younger if they are interested!)

Maker Spotlights

One of the things I think is really cool about this book is that each section ends with a maker spotlight. For these spotlights, Helen has interviewed some really cool female makers from all over the world! Like check out the maker Coco Sato and her gesture sensing origami fan! Plus, she has one of the most beautiful Instagram feeds that is sure to inspire some origami madness.

The Giveaway!

So do you want to win a free copy of this book along with a Chibitronics starter kit? Chibitronics - Chibi Lights - LED Circuit Stickers STEM Starter Kit

Here is how to enter:

  • Comment on this blog post and let my readers know what kind of makerspace you run (or hope to run!) Also, please make sure to subscribe to the comments or leave your Twitter handle in case you win! This is how I will contact you.)
  • I have to approve comments to keep out the SPAM, so be patient! 😀
  • Then share this blog post with others so they can learn about Helen Leigh’s Crafty Kids Guide to DIY Electronics!

There can only be one winner and because shipping overseas is costly, I can only ship to a US shipping location. (Sorry about that!)

Giveaway ends in one week on February 28th! So start commenting and sharing! 

 

 

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Review: Wonder Workshop Dash Sketch Kit

colleengraves.org (14)

Dash Robot in #bigmakerbook

In 2016 when we began writing our #bigmakerbook, Aaron and I included the Dash robot for our programming section. This awesome quirky robot is a great robot for beginning to code/program directions. (I also did an extensive robot comparison chart comparing Sphero/Dash/Ozobot.)

In our makerspace project book, Aaron and I used Dash to teach kids how to code an equilateral triangle and even program a dance party with other robot friends. One thing I love about Dash that is different from Sphero is that Dash has a very obvious front and back which helps when tinkering and adjusting code in attempts at driving straight lines and turning tight corners.

Sketch Kit

So I was pretty stoked to try out the new sketch kit from Wonder Workshop. This kit comes with a harness for Dash so you can attach a marker to it. Something pretty ingenious about the harness it that with the movement of Dash’s head, you can place the marker down for drawing, or bring it back up so it can drive to a new spot before laying down tracks. This means our projects from the book, can now be updated for students to attempt drawing different types of triangles, rather than trying to drive Dash on a pre-made track.

The sketch kit contains:

  • 1 marker harness
  • 6 custom dry-erase markers (red, blue, green, orange, purple, black)
  • 6 project cards

The whiteboard mat does not come with the sketch kit, but is offered at a separate price point.

Usability

The programming for this kit is integrated into the existing Blockly app. It’s fairly easy to try out pre-existing drawings, but it’s always more fun to draw your own shapes.

Some of the existing drawings need the code tinkered with to be more precise, but that’s always a good computational tinkering challenge.

If you haven’t used the Blockly app, it is similar to the popular kid-friendly programming platforms Scratch and MakeCode. It uses color palettes to differentiate types of code like Drive, Lights, Control, etc.

Cost

At $40 bucks, the sketch kit is at a decent price for adding to your existing Dash robots. The whiteboard mat is really cool, but at $100 bucks libraries and schools may not be able to afford this mat alongside the sketch kit. Also, it is quite heavy, so it’s difficult to roll up and store. (One of my students folded it in half the other day and almost completely ruined it!) If you are worried about cost, use an old white board or pick up some showerboard from Home Depot.

If you can order directly from Wonder Workshop, you can get the sketch pack (with whiteboard mat included) for $129.

Bottom Line

The sketch kit is a super cool addition to your Dash robots. If you and your students like using the launcher and xylophone, you’ll enjoy the sketch pack and seeing math mesh with art right before your eyes!

2018-04-18 19.23.13

Note: I was not paid to write this post, but I did receive the sketch pack from Wonder Workshop for review purposes.