A new tool for teaching circuitry

Teaching students how to build circuits is tricky business, especially when you want to provide a hands-on experience.  There are a number of ways to approach the problem, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.  You could, for example, pass around a box of wires and components and have the students twist, solder, or clip them all together…

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You could show them how to use a breadboard and hope that mentally compiling and decompiling the circuit doesn’t overshadow the lesson the circuit’s meant to teach…

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You could buy a kit with easy, snap-together components that can be quickly assembled and disassembled at the expense of scalability and authenticity…

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All of the solutions have the same problem, though:  At the end of the lesson, the circuit is disassembled and lost forever.  Those wires need to be used again, the breadboard needs to be cleared for the next project, and those brightly-colored snapping components are too bulky expensive to keep your beautifully constructed XOR gate for future reference.  Just draw the diagram and build it again next time.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if the circuit diagrams students drew in their notebooks could be real circuits?

Clear some space in your pocket protector, because a new project on Kickstarter hopes to make this a reality.  Meet Circuit Scribe—a ballpoint pen that draws working traces.

 

Deliveries for project donors are expected to begin in June of 2014, and other buyers can expect a product shortly thereafter.

If you’d like to learn more or donate to the kickstarter, you can find the project at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/electroninks/circuit-scribe-draw-circuits-instantly.