One of the projects that my oldest son and I have been (s l o o o o w l y) working on is a robot. The first version was great since it helped introduce him to the concept of “iterations” (i.e. start small, tackle one or two “features” first, learn from what you do, make another version, repeat) and me to basic electronics. Really, it wasn’t great–in fact it never even got to the point of moving, but we learned a lot.
For the 2nd iteration, we’re controlling it with an Arduino. Part of that is made easier by using a motorshield sold by Adafruit. Since I want my son to take as much control of this project as he can, I let him do all of the soldering–I did do a bit of desoldering, though, when we decided to make the shield stackable.
The whole experience was really fantastic, and by the end he became very proficient at soldering.
The kit has a lot of pieces to solder, so I’m not sure I would recommend it as a “first” experience with soldering.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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