Electronics typically means soldering. Soldering means highly stressful training using soldering irons with parental-hands hovering inches from child-hands. Cords everywhere for soldering irons, lead free solder, fume extraction. All of which is mostly impossible with any size group.
Turns out we live in a fairly modern time. We can connect wires with tiny springs, and crimp connections that before today were unheard of. In this article we show you a couple of those connections, and some other tools that might make working with your PI, kid-friendly.
Wago 222-412 LEVER-NUTS
Pictured above, these little guys are amazing. They make it easy to make tight connections between any two reasonably sized wires. Lift the level, insert your wire, you’re connected.
The only trouble is little fingers are not strong enough to lift the lever. To help, get yourself some small brass pipes, slip those over the end of a lever, and you have a pry bar that will amplify child finger strength. This kit will have lots of appropriate pieces
No heat, no mess, no tools. They come in a variety of sizes too. I typically keep the two and three-wire variety on hand… and of course a good selection of pry bars. 😉
Breadboard Jumper Wires
You’ll want to have LOTs of these. I used to constantly make wires with sockets or tinned leads on them. Those days are gone now. These little guys make it wonderfully easy to connect between your Arduino/PI and the other electronics.
There are three varieties there. Female to Female, which ends up being the most used, Female to Male, and Male to Female. All held together like and old-style ribbon cable. If you get several sets of these, you’ll even have the luxury of color coding your connections, which is very helpful in a class setting.
I know, I know… you expected to see this first. But everybody says this one first. Had to put something interesting at the top.
If you look closely at the image – you can see that these have row and column labels. This is great for the class setting, as you can play “connection battleship”. 🙂 Like this:
“Ok class – push the long leg of the led into A1”
Solidcore 22 Gauge Wire and Stripper
Solid core 22 gauge wire is great for hooking up things or using the breadboard. Having multiple colors is key for keeping circuits straight.
These are really nice strippers. It’s good to get the kids familiar which using these basic tools.
More tools to come as I discover them…