The Circuit Scribe Draw Circuits Basic Kit is a new Kickstarter-backed circuitry set for kids (and kids at heart) that want to learn more about how circuits work but without all the wires of a typical circuitry set. The kit comes with everything you need to get started, including a conductive ink pen, a workbook, six color-coded component modules, a magnetic sheet with a handy cheat sheet for functions, a 9V battery to power things up, a circuit stencil to create your own designs when you're ready, and a sticker sheet.
How does it work? Instead of wires, this kit uses a unique non-toxic conductive silver ink pen (an idea that developed from conductive ink research in a PhD lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) to create connections.
To get started, grab your work book. Here is where you'll find step-by-step tutorial on how to make basic circuits as well as tips and tricks on what works and what happens when a you don't form the connection properly, i.e. short circuit a connection. To understand these things, you'll simply use your conductive ink pen and the indicated component modules needed to complete each activity. Use the ink to fill in the indicated lines, but don't worry if you go outside the lines. Then slide the magnetic sheet behind a page and place the component modules where they are indicated. Flip the switch and see what happens.
This kit offers a unique way for little makers to explore basic circuitry concepts, while also making it less intimidating than using a lot of wires to create connections. We also like that once you've completed the activity book, there is still a lot of open-ended repeat play value to it thanks to the stencil and pen that allow kids to create their own circuits anywhere.
The CircuitScribe Draw Circuits Basic Kit is for ages 8 and up, and we think will appeal most to kids that like to tinker, draw, experiment and create. This kit can also make the overall experience of learning circuitry a bit less intimidating than one that comes with tons of wires.
Tips for using the conductive ink pen: The guide says you can simply draw lines to make the connection but we found that you really need to use more ink to ensure a strong current flow and that no gaps are left between your lines. Additionally you'll need to store the pen upright because like a roller pen, you want to make sure the ink is near the bottom for a solid ink consistency. Here, you can also find additional tips for pen maintenance.
Additional CircuitScribe kits and accessories are also available for purchase. To learn more about Circuit Scribe's conductive ink research and its Kickstart-backed campaign, click here.
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