Review of Circuit Scribe Electronics Kits and Giveaway for a Maker Kit – #STEM

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25.  Ryan Martin (left) of Boston and Jonas Gillespie (8) of Ithaca, NY happily observe the successful completion of an electronic circuit to power a moter. Martin is one of the members of an Electroninks outreach team that provided instruction and encouragement to children exploring circuit design using "Circuit Scribe" conductive ink and electronic components at Boston's Museum of Science.  Lori K. Sanders/Cambridge, MA.

Circuit Scribe Kits provide a great introduction to electronics. They teach kids about the basics of electronics whilst having them build a series of projects, which makes learning fun! There is no need to learn to solder when creating the projects- you simply use the included conductive silver ink pen to draw the wires and make connections. I recently got the opportunity to test out the CircuitScribe Ultimate Kit and found that it was a great addition to our Homeschool curriculum.

Review

The Circuit Scribe kits consist of a variety of electronic components as a series of magnetic modules, a workbook, a steel sheet, a circuit stencil and a conductive silver ink pen.  The Ultimate Kit contains over 30 components, plus instructions for lots of projects.

 

The Modules are color coded:

Input e.g. switch =red

Output e.g. LED =yellow

Connection e.g. transistor =grey

Power e.g. battery =blue

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Workbook

The Workbook contains lots of projects and they are color-coded so that you know at a glance which projects are compatible with the Basic or Maker or Ultimate kits. All projects can be completed using the Ultimate kit, most can be done with the Maker kit but the Basic kit can do less.

The steel sheet is used to place between pages of the workbook and acts as a magnetic backdrop for the projects. It also acts as a glossary of symbols and abbreviations used for describing electronic circuits and components.

For each project the student learns the theory behind the project, sees a circuit diagram for the project, then draws in the indicated wires using the silver ink pen.  They are encouraged to use some artistic flare rather than just tracing along the lines. Once they have drawn the required wires they can place the  modules in the indicated spots and they will magnetically stick to the steel sheet through the paper connecting to the silver ink wires as they do so. It takes a little practice to draw the wires so that they will conduct electricity well- you need to make the lines nice and thick without any breaks, but even if you don’t get them perfect the first time you can just add more ink to reinforce any areas of weakness.

As they work through the projects students learn the characteristics of different types of electrical components, how to create and read circuit diagrams.  As the students learn about the components they are encouraged to be creative and design their own circuits. The Ultimate kit is even contains connectors that allow you to use it with Arduino and Raspberry Pi (not included), and has a sample Arduino project.

Summary

Not only do Circuit Scribe kits provide projects to do, but they also teach the basics of electronics. Students learn about electrical components such as resistors, potentiometers and switches, plus they learn to draw circuit diagrams as well as build projects. This is a great kit for homeschooling families as it has students learning about physics, electricity and electronics in a hands on way. It is also a fun introduction to electronics for ages 10- adult – I know I learned from using it! Highly recommended #STEM gift.

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Maker Kit Giveaway

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Thanks to Circuit Scribe One lucky reader of The iMums can win a Circuit Scribe kit of their own- we have a Maker Kit to give away (RRP $79.99)

The Maker Kit contains 17 electronic components and instructions for a variety of projects.

Maker Kit Contains:

11 Modules:

  • 9V Battery adapter with 9V battery
  • x2 Bi-LED
  • SPST Switch
  • NPN Transistor
  • 2-Pin Adapter with 5x resistors (100, 1k, 10k, 100k and 1M ohm), 2x capacitors (0.1uF, 1.0uF), and one photoresistor (10k ohms)
  • Potentiometer – 10k ohms
  • Blinker
  • Buzzer
  • RGB LED
  • Light Sensor

Additional Items:

  • Conductive Ink Pen
  • Circuit Stencil
  • Jumper Sticker Sheet
  • Workbook
  • Steel sheet

Available from CircuitScribe.comAmazon and other retailers for US$79.99,

 

 

Giveaway

If you would like to win a Maker kit from Circuit Scribe ($79.99 value), please enter via the widget below. Winners will be emailed and must contact The iMums within 48 hours to claim their prize. This giveaway is open to USA ONLY and a valid mailing address is required to claim the prize. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: A product was supplied by the company for review purposes, no other form of compensation was received, all opinions stated in the review are those of the author and have been offered honestly.The links in this post may contain affiliate links where The iMums will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link, this helps to support the costs of running this site and we appreciate your support.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).

Connected Camps Free Kid Club Minecraft Server- a Safe, Fun Place for #Minecraft Fans

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My 9 year-old son, Mr A, like many kids, LOVES Minecraft and especially loves playing with other kids. He plays multi-player games with his siblings and friends when they are together, and has been asking for a long time to play online. I have been concerned about potential safety issues connecting online with strangers, so I have been reluctant to allow him to play online. That was before we discovered Kid Club – a free moderated Minecraft Server especially for kids from Connected Camps. Kid Club is specifically for kids age 8-15 years and is a moderated server that I feel is a safe online space for him to connect with other kids who also love Minecraft.

I first discovered our sponsor Connected Camps earlier this year when they contacted The iMums to tell us about their Summer of Minecraft camps. It is an online learning platform that offers online Minecraft programs- summer camps, after school courses, online mentoring and special events; as well as access to safe, moderated Minecraft servers for kids. Connected Camps was founded by 3 girl geeks with a mission: to make coding and digital arts accessible and fun for all kids.

Mr A took Connected Camps Survival Camp in July this year and LOVED it so much he has already made me promise to sign him up again next year! After his camp he asked to join Kid Club. Because we had such a positive experience with the camp I was happy to let him join. Signing up was very simple and it took about 24 hours to get approved to join. You do need to provide a credit card number so they can check your identity, but it doesn’t cost anything. Since then he has become a regular Kid Club member. His favorite parts are that he can play with other kids outside his immediate family and friends, plus he loves to trade resources with other players in the bazaar. He’s happy because he can play Minecraft with other kids and I’m happy because I feel Kid Club is a safe place to let him share his passion for Minecraft with other kids.

Kids can use the Kid Club server for free play or they can join in structured activities to learn new skills and interact with other kids and counselors with similar interests. In just the next week there are over 20 Kid Club events on the calendar including carving giant pumpkins, architecture club, engineering club, carnival build, castle capture the flag and many more- all free !

For kids who want to learn more Minecraft skills Connected Camps also offers a variety of  online Minecraft programs including topics such as coding, game design and engineering. They have after school programs, one on one mentoring, holiday courses and one- off workshops. These do have a fee, but I think they are very reasonably priced e.g. a 2hr Dungeon Design Workshop is $9.99

Reasons to love Kid Club

  • Safe, moderated, kid only server
  • Fun new events
  • Free
  • Open daily from 12-6pm PST
  • Opportunities to interact with other Minecraft loving kids
  • Opportunities to try new things and learn new skills
  • Easy access to Minecraft workshops, courses and tutoring for players wanting to expand their skills (*fee for this)

For families looking for a safe online environment for their kids to play Minecraft with other kids I would highly recommend Kid Club. Not only is it moderated, safe and for kids only, but it’s free too !

 

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NOTE: Connected Camps sponsored this article, but it is based on my family’s real experiences with the company and all opinions expressed in the article are my own.

Mary is originally from England but now lives in California with her husband, dog, cat and three children. Mary and her family love Apple products and own an iPad2, iPad3, iPad Mini, iTouch, iPhone5 and several MacBook Pros. They also love cub scouts, skiing, camping and hiking. The family iPads are also used for therapy for their daughters Apraxia (speech disorder).


My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids by urbn; pockets – Review



screen spacecraft

What we love…

The well designed app, the beautiful illustrations and all the great info throughout.

What we’d love to see…

None!

Summary

Amazing app for children to learn about space and the universe in a fun way and to inspire little astronauts out there!

Our Rating

With My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids by urbn; pockets kids can go on knowledge trip to space! Kids can become an astronaut and learn a great deal of informative facts with this fun, colourful and interactive app made for kids 6 to 8. Urbn; pockets are the creator of other great apps like This is my Food – Nutrition for Kids, This is my Weather – Meteorology for Kids and This is my Body – Anatomy for Kids.

Kids can suit up and learn great facts about being an astronaut, rockets, shuttles, space stations, the solar system, the universe and get involved using the many interactive points through each learning section.

In the rocket section, they can experience a rocket propulsion, a lunar module taking off, put parts of rockets together or create their own countdown! I know I’ve always wanted to do that!

In the shuttle section, kids can learn about satellites, be a shuttle pilot and play with rockets. In the space station section, they can have fun finding out about how astronauts live on space stations, eat, sleep, cut their hair and deal with zero gravity. This part was one of my daughter’s favourite section by far. She loved playing with her little astronaut friend in space.

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In the solar system section, children can learn about the planets, their distance to the sun, their size, how long they spin around themselves and how many years the planets take to orbit the sun. They can understand where earth and the moon fit in the solar system and learn about the sun too.

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Last but not least, the universe section is interesting as it goes through the history of scientists, astronauts, animals in space and how old the universe it.

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We cannot fault the app really, you can tell that the creators of this app spent a great deal of time thinking about an easy way to navigate, some great graphics and fun facts about science. The only tiny thing is that some parts of the app have a lot of text some of which isn’t narrated!

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Overall, we love this beautifully illustrated, nicely narrated, fun and educational app! Mums and dads can learn a thing or two about space and the universe using this app. The app is very easy to use and kids can go click happy through each section all while learning a great deal about science.

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My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids

My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids by urbn; pockets
Category: Education, Books
Requirements: Compatible with iPad2Wifi-iPad2Wifi, iPad23G-iPad23G, iPhone4S-iPhone4S, iPadThirdGen-iPadThirdGen, iPadThirdGen4G-iPadThirdGen4G, iPhone5-iPhone5, iPodTouchFifthGen-iPodTouchFifthGen, iPadFourthGen-iPadFourthGen, iPadFourthGen4G-iPadFourthGen4G, iPadMini-iPadMini, iPadMini4G-iPadMini4G, iPhone5c-iPhone5c, iPhone5s-iPhone5s, iPadAir-iPadAir, iPadAirCellular-iPadAirCellular, iPadMiniRetina-iPadMiniRetina, iPadMiniRetinaCellular-iPadMiniRetinaCellular, iPhone6-iPhone6, iPhone6Plus-iPhone6Plus, iPadAir2-iPadAir2, iPadAir2Cellular-iPadAir2Cellular, iPadMini3-iPadMini3, iPadMini3Cellular-iPadMini3Cellular, iPodTouchSixthGen-iPodTouchSixthGen, iPhone6s-iPhone6s, iPhone6sPlus-iPhone6sPlus, iPadMini4-iPadMini4, iPadMini4Cellular-iPadMini4Cellular, iPadPro-iPadPro, iPadProCellular-iPadProCellular, iPadPro97-iPadPro97, iPadPro97Cellular-iPadPro97Cellular, iPhoneSE-iPhoneSE, iPhone7-iPhone7, iPhone7Plus-iPhone7Plus, iPad611-iPad611, iPad612-iPad612, iPad71-iPad71, iPad72-iPad72, iPad73-iPad73, iPad74-iPad74, iPhone8-iPhone8, iPhone8Plus-iPhone8Plus, iPhoneX-iPhoneX
Size: 171.78 MB

$1.99USD

Giveaway

We have promo codes for My Spacecraft – Rocket Science for Kids to be given away during The iMums’ birthday promo code party! Check our Facebook page for updates! ‪#‎happybirthdayimums‬

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Catherine is a mother of a little miss almost 3 years old. Originally from France she now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to explore their beautiful city with her daughter and sharing their adventures with other parents. Catherine has a passion for social media, blogging, technology and food. Before the arrival of her daughter, Catherine was studying and working in the field of IT and still loves all things tech! She loves finding new apps for her daughter to learn and play with and share great apps with other parents.


Times Table Galaxy By Top Storey Apps Limited – Review



iPad Screenshot 1

What we love…

easy to use interactive fast paced app that encourages you to remember your times tables and builds upon your knowledge

What we’d love to see…

stronger parental gate, more protection of IAP and external links

Summary

Overall, I really liked the way that this app taught the multiplication tables which is different than most of the apps in the app store.  Using a scaffolded or built upon learning style helps kids be successful and build upon previous learning such as skip counting.

Our Rating

Times table Galaxy by Top Storey Apps Limited is a fun fast paced app designed to help you remember your multiplication facts.  You enter the galaxy and can can choose from 2x to 12x times tables.    For each round of times tables that you work on, you are given a time limit, once you hit that time limit you are out of fuel and have to try again or begin the level again.   The app is free, but does include an in app purchase for unlimited play of $2.99.  This app is aimed at late elementary to early middle school aged children and includes graphics that switch each time you successfully complete a times table.  It uses scaffolded learning which means that each problem builds upon the previous one.  It uses both skip level counting as well as memory and recall to complete the various times tables.

Fun interactive app that encourages you to know your times tables.  I loved the fast pace and the fact that it encouraged me as an adult to remember my times tables in a fun interactive way.  I also liked how the app built upon itself with skills and as you were faster and completed more times tables the content got harder to complete. I do suggest for younger kids who may feel “pressure” to turn off the timer, this can be done but hitting the down arrow.  That helps take the pressure off of the math and enhances the learning in a reduced pressure environment.  It does use Game Center integration which for older kids can help encourage the competitive spirit on recall and reflexes. There is no advertising contained within the app, although it does contain an in-app purchase for the full version.

Among my favorite features:

  • Facts presented in order (scaffolded) to reinforce skip counting which helps improve overall counting especially for children still learning their times tables
  • Fun interactive game that encourages children to complete the task in a way that builds accuracy
  • Ability to turn on and off the timer depending on the child and if they felt pressured by it
  • I did find at times that my son was simply adding the x number to the problem which slowed him down, but I admired that he was creative enough to realize that he could do that and “game” the system to completion

The app needs a stronger parental gate in the free version, currently you can tap through and purchase the “unlimited lives” with no math problems or gate, however, since the app is geared at older kids a more complex gate would be required.  Right now it’s a tap and hold, given the audience they can easily decipher the instructions and go to the app store.   You can purchase Times Table Galaxy for Schools “full version” which does not include in-app purchases.   To access this area, you tap the settings button which prompts you to unlock unlimited plays.  I would like to see a way to turn off the Game Center integration as well.

Overall, I really liked the way that this app taught the multiplication tables which is different than most of the apps in the app store.  Using a scaffolded or built upon learning style helps kids be successful and build upon previous learning such as skip counting.  The app does meet common core learning standards and will be good to help reinforce learning or help students move from skip counting to memorization and completing the task more quickly.

FREE with IAP version


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Price: $

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Full version – No IAP


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Price: $

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#HappyBirthdayiMums Code Drop

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Alison, the American iMum is from Massachusetts. She lives there with her two sons and husband. In their spare time, they enjoy playing outside, enjoying nature and of course testing apps and fantastic products on their devices. My older son loves technology and loves testing out the “latest and newest” apps and tech. I love sharing information about apps and products with others to help them make decisions without feeling overwhelmed with all of the choices.

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