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What happens when you combine transistors, a buzzer, and a circuit?
EEME is a company devoted to making science, technology, engineering and math accessible to children, especially those aged 7-12. EEME Dad Jack has created excellent kits which teach children how to build electronic projects. These kits teach the kid builders about electricity, programming (we’ve built a project based on binary programming already), and engineering principles. Designed for parents and kids to do together, EEME’s kits are easy to understand and fun to build, even for those with no engineering experience!
Project Tentacles, like Project Genius Light (#1) and Project DIY Display (#2), works on the breadboard from the first project. So, we reused the breadboard and battery set. However, EEME did send us the following additional components:
- A buzzer
- Wires, both long and short
And, as always, a complete video tutorial is included from EEME, along with clear step-by-step instructions. The video tutorial for Project Tentacles contains 33 sub-lessons. These sub-lessons teach safety tips; what each component in the project does; and assign questions which review what the students learn as they complete each project.
And the cool projects students build in Project Tentacles? Completing a circuit so a buzzer sounds. Adding wires to the buzzer circuit, for a more complex project. Using resistors in the circuit. Working with two different types of transistors, with different results.
Since EEME includes many different projects in each kit, we’ve found that we learn best when we break up the projects over the course of a week or so. That means that we’ll do about 5-7 sub-lessons on a given day. And, each day that we worked on some sub-lessons, Jackson built something fascinating that taught some specific scientific principles. Here’s a short list of some of the principles he learned with Project Tentacles:
- The function of a closed circuit in electricity
- What a resistor does to the flow of electricity
- Different kinds of transistors and the way they work
- What each pin on a transistor accomplishes
- How electricity affects sound
I have said before how much we love EEME and the EEME projects we’ve built. There really is a beauty in working through all of the Builder Basic 6-Project Set, and I’ve been able to watch it happen. Even though we’ve only completed the first three projects of the 6, I have watched Jackson become very comfortable working with breadboards, electricity circuits (which are powered by 2 AA batteries), and all the different components that are included with each set. He understands circuits and the flow of power through the resistors, wires, and transistors. And, he’s learning that there are very practical uses for these projects! (How about setting up an alarm with Project Tentacles on your door or dresser drawer?)
Just as important, he is able to follow the step-by-step instructions which direct the student in completing the projects. And, when he gets to the end of several steps and doesn’t achieve the desired end result, he can work back through them to find his mistake and correct it. How important is that problem-solving skill? I’d say, it’s a crucial one!
So, Jackson and I wholeheartedly recommend both Project Tentacles and EEME’s Builder Basic 6-Project Set. These projects are fun, exciting to complete, and fantastic for teaching excellent life skills and STEM knowledge!
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Here’s what my son Jackson said about Project Tentacles:
“It works in a very fun way. And is pretty easy and also very fun to build. I would definitely recommend it once you have done all the previous EEME projects. The buzzer is fun.”