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Draw Circuits: Maker Kit Review by Kelly BurgessCircuit Scribe Conductive Ink Pen
3006 Longhorn Blvd.
Austin, TX 78758
The innovative Draw Circuits: Maker Kit is a fun and educational set intended for ages eight and up. It includes eleven modules, an illustrated instructional workbook with twenty-five pages of lessons and some blank sketchbook paper, a nine-volt battery, a circuit stencil, jumper stickers, a magnetic steel sheet, and a conductive ink pen. This fascinating product is available for $79.99.
There are a number of different kits available from this vendor, and every lesson/project is labeled with its level of difficulty. Lessons are rated as "beginner," "maker," or "ultimate/developer." This Maker Kit has beginner and maker level lessons.
I gave this kit to my son who is a senior and my daughter who is a seventh-grader to work on together. Without any help from me, they were able to open the book and get started. Neither of them had ever done anything like this before, so the concept was completely new to both of them. My senior said he felt a bit overwhelmed when he first opened the box, but he said the lessons in the instruction manual were so incredibly clear with both illustrations and step-by-step explanations that they were both able to understand and execute some projects right away. After completing a few projects, they were pretty fascinated and brought their circuits around to everyone in the house to show off what they had created.
There is so much to do with this kit. The early lessons help build your understanding of inputs, outputs, and signal processing. Then as the difficulty level increases, you can explore light sensing, timed circuits, and piezoelectric materials. You can create fun circuits like a touch sensor, a buzzer, a motor, a photo sensor, a blinker, and flashing lights, and then you can combine concepts with a project like the light-controlled motor. Every project is created on paper, completing the circuits with the unique conductive ink pen. My kids were really surprised by how well the pen worked in place of actual wires.
This was a really fun kit and a great way to learn about circuitry. I was impressed that it was interesting even my high-schooler, yet it's still something I think my nine-year old could do with some guidance.
This kit would be a great family project for homeschoolers of varying ages to work on together, and all of them could come away with new knowledge that was gained through an enjoyable hands-on experience.
-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017