What would it take to make learning electronics so accessible, it is unavoidable? Is there a way to make electronics kits that are so affordable and within reach that you could buy them on a whim, like a pack of gum? These are the questions I asked myself when conceiving this project.
Imagine a vending machine full of creative potential, instead of junk food. Each box contains a project and the materials needed to complete it and costs little more than the snacks you’d typically find there. Kits can be remixed together. At the bottom of the machine, where you’d usually find stale Life Savers and flavorless gum, you can find basic components and materials like LEDs, batteries, test leads and electrical tape, for expanding on projects and creating new ones. A website provides a community for support and sharing. Ideal placements for vending machines would be in public schools, libraries, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s and other community organizations and gathering spaces.
The first kit I designed guides you in making a functioning game with buzzer and light, inspired by Hasbro’s Operation. The box serves as a template for creating the circuit required to light the LED and sound the buzzer any time the tweezers make contact with the metal foil. The second kit I’m working in is called the “Haunted Boom Box,” which is actually a theremin. It is my goal that each kit allows you to create something that you can do something with, like a toy, game or musical instrument.