All About Capacitors – Our Experiences with EEME’s “Fade to Black”

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We just completed another EEME project, Fade to Black!  EEME generously provided this project for us to use, so we could share our opinions and review with you!  And we loved Fade to Black just as much as we have all the EEME kits we’ve tried.  It’s really just exceptional kid science.


And for any parent out there who wanted to know what Doc Brown’s “flux capacitor” really did….Fade to Black will unlock that mystery for you!  🙂

What is Fade to Black?

The Fade to Black project introduces kid scientists to the STEM world of LEDs, Farads, stored energy, circuits, and capacitors.  This project, like all EEME projects, builds on the original breadboard and battery set that comes in the Basic 6-Project Set (in the first project, Genius Light, to be exact).

The new components in Fade to Black are:

  • an LED light
  • a transistor
  • long wires
  • resistors
  • Two capacitors
  • a push-button switch

With these components, the child will build four different circuits that accomplish four different jobs.  As always, the project comes with a complete step-by-step video tutorial by EEME Dad Jack, with instructions, safety features, questions for the student, and scientific explanations for the whys and hows of the activities.  An accompanying lesson summary can also be printed, if you’d like to have a record of what your child has studied and learned in this.


Some of the amazing things we saw in Fade to Black:

A push-button, which, when connected to the battery and LED lights via wires and resistors, caused the LED light to come on….as well as performing another important task!

Two kinds of capacitors!  You can see one of them in the picture above; it’s the component with the blue arrow pointing at it.  I want to tell you what it does, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers!  (Yes, if you really want to know what the flux capacitor did, you’re going to have to try out Fade to Black for yourself!)  I will tell you that there is a connection between the button, the capacitor, and the LED (no pun intended).

Those are only two of the builds/activities we completed in Fade to Black.  As EEME Dad Jack has done in our other projects, he starts with the simplest build or activity to introduce the components and principles to the child.  Then, each activity becomes a little more complex or contains more components and steps.  But every single activity certainly contains the “Wow!” factor!


And finally….

Fade to Black was our 5th EEME project.  And I noticed some really wonderful things as we worked through this one!  First, Jackson has really grown in his understanding of circuits, electricity, technology, and the various components EEME has introduced him to.  Other than taking the photos, I didn’t do anything on this project besides sitting and watching the teaching videos and Jackson’s construction of each activity!  Second, he has really grown in his confidence in working with these technologies.  He’s very comfortable watching the videos and following the directions EEME Dad Jack is giving.  I am truly excited about this, because I know that he is REALLY learning.  And I love that he’s learning these things now, because he’ll revisit these concepts again in high school, when he takes physics.  EEME is an incredible, delightful, and truly wonderful addition to our science studies.

Jackson said, when I asked him if he could share a couple of things he liked about Fade to Black, “Of course!  I loved the buttons!”  So here are his impressions:

“This was our first EEME project to feature a push-button component, and I absolutely loved it. Pushing the button to make the light come on is fun, but it becomes even more fun and cool as the project progresses and when you let go of the button, the light fades. This project introduced me to some new components such as the button and the capacitors, and was a very well-done project.”

As you can see, he loved this project!

I’m very happy to recommend both EEME and Fade to Black to you!  You can purchase Fade to Black from EEME, via their Basic 6-Project Set.  Be sure to visit EEME and check out their free materials, which you can download directly from their website.  I think you’ll be very, very impressed!

Enjoy—I know you will!  –Wren

Disclosure: We at finchnwren may receive a free product or service in exchange for our honest opinions expressed in our blog.  We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews.  We share our own (and our family’s) opinions of these products.  We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.


Our Favorite New Science Projects ~ EEME! (A Review)

Readers of finchnwren KNOW how much we love science.  Recently, we were contacted by EEME, who invited us to try out and review their amazing and kid-friendly electronics kit, Project Genius Light.  You can imagine how quickly we said yes!

Project Genius Light banner


What is EEME?

EEME was created by new father Jack, who was interested in finding creative toys which taught children great skills, especially in the areas of science and technology.  When he wasn’t happy with what he found, he built his own company that could produce fantastic educational kits that families could enjoy together.  And EEME kits provide the perfect intersection between the needs of American kids to learn technology, with fun and creative activities which will build the skills, understanding and vocabulary for ultimate success in the science world.

EEME kits teach electronics, science and technology to children—even kids as young as 7!  The projects’ age range is actually 7-12, although children slightly younger and older than that can successfully build them, especially with parental involvement.  Kits can be purchased singly or in groups, and all of them start with Project Genius Light.

While we’ve always been interested in science, and have completed a lot of experiments over the course of my son’s homeschool career, we had never done anything in the field of electronics.  (Did I mention that I was a liberal arts major—NOT a science or engineering major—in college?)  Despite that lack of experience, both Jackson and I found that the EEME kit and instructions wonderfully prepared us for each step of the project.


Proj Gen 1

EEME’s Project Genius Light

We received EEME’s Project Genius Light (the Basic Plan) to review.  This is the EEME kit that everyone starts with, for the reason that every other EEME project starts with the base kit included in the Project Genius Light kit (and builds on it from there).

This first kit contains:

  • A breadboard (that’s the white rectangle with holes in it, which you build everything on)
  • A battery pack
  • A plastic baseplate (which holds the breadboard)
  • LED light bulb
  • Photoresistor
  • One short resistor
  • One longer resistor
  • 2 longer yellow wires
  • 2 blue short wires

Now, with my total lack of experience with electronics, I looked at all this and couldn’t imagine WHAT on earth we were to do with it.  However, EEME was prepared for parents and kids who’d never worked with these tools!  They have an incredible video and print tutorial on their website which walks you through each and every step you’ll be taking.  There are 30 different short videos that EEME has provided, which teach you what each component is, and show you what to do.  (They even included a mandatory safety video!)

Proj Gen 2

The tutorials enable the parent and child to build a number of different projects with the Project Genius Light set.  They’re fascinating as well as easy to understand and follow.  Mixed in with the videos are spots where the children answer questions on their experiences, and further teaching (as well as diagrams) on the different components and what they can do.

How we used this cool science kit:

The entire Project Genius Light process takes from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours to complete.  We spread our work out over 3 days, which divided up the process nicely.  It gave us enough time to learn about what we were doing without being overwhelmed with a lot of projects at once.

For our process, we simply worked through the steps on the EEME website.  The tutorials are very easy to understand.  Often, we’d listen to/watch a step, then we’d pause the video as Jackson completed it; then we’d hit “Play” and continue.

I so appreciated the clarity with which Jack teaches the different projects, as well as the clear lists and diagrams which are displayed to the right of each video.  This came in handy every time, but especially on one project, when we got to the end of the process and the light didn’t come on.

Proj Gen ScreenshotSee the bright orange arrow on this photo?  That’s pointing to the list of pieces used in this project, and where on the breadboard each one was supposed to go.  Because Jack had included that list, we were able to check each step we’d taken, and determine where Jackson had placed each wire.  And, we discovered that one of them was in the wrong spot, which kept the circuit from being completed and therefore, the LED from lighting up!  It was such a relief to have that list (on every project, by the way) and to be able to find our error.  And to fix it!

Some of the amazing things we learned in Project Genius Light were:

  • How a breadboard works
  • What a resistor does
  • How a circuit is completed
  • How a light actually turns on
  • and much, much more!

Proj Gen 4

Here’s what my son, Jackson, had to say:

“It is fun and reminds me of computer programming.  It’s very easy to understand, and is a project for beginners and experienced ones alike.  It’s cool how the photoresistor works.  And EEME did a very good job on it.”

Our conclusions:

I definitely recommend EEME and Project Genius Light to anyone who’d like their children to learn how fun and amazing science and technology can be.  Parents and kids will love completing the projects together, and will be amazed at the total coolness of what someone can do who learns a little about the STEM fields.

You may sign up for FREE online lessons at  EEME.

In addition, EEME is offering $10 off the first month’s subscription to any finchnwren reader!  Just click here for your discount when you subscribe.  And if you do, be sure to let us know what you think!

Enjoy!  –Wren

DISCLOSURE:  Finch and Wren have affiliate relationships with a number of excellent companies.  If you purchase an item through our affiliate links, finchnwren will earn a commission.  However, you will never pay more for the item when you purchase it through our links.  And, we only recommend products that we truly believe in.  Thank you!