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EEME: Building Circuits in the Classroom

on December 2, 2013

EEMEAs part of our Makers Year, Eva and I signed up for EEME, a program that is designed to teach kids electronics and circuitry through hands-on experiences coupled with online tutorials. I snagged this from their website:

EEME makes hands-on project kits paired with an online video curricula to teach 7-12 year old kids electronics. Our goal? To nurture the curiosity & critical thinking kids need for the science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) opportunities of tomorrow.

How the program works:

  1. Each month a little package arrives in the mail. Hooray! We love packages! Inside is everything you need for the month’s project. For the first month, you receive a breadboard, baseboard, battery component, wires and resistors, and an LED light. Every month after that builds off the first project. So that breadboard you received in month #1 will be used again and again in future projects.
  2. Eva using the online instructions to make her project

    Eva using the online instructions to make her project

    After you’ve opened the package, log into the EEME website. There you’ll be able to watch step-by-step instructions about the new project. Follow the instructions, take one- to three-question quizzes at the end of each to make sure you’re understanding the concepts, and move onto the next step when you’re ready. So far we’ve built a simple light, a sunlight-activated “nightlight,” a numerical digital display, and a super loud audio alarm.

  3. Once you’ve completed the project (which takes about an hour), simply place everything in a storage box and wait for the next month’s surprise. Or if you love it love it, then keep building with it, or use the project you just created. I always encourage playing around and experimenting!
Working on project #3

Working on project #3

How we like it:

The Pros: We love it! As you know, I’m not much of a curriculum user, so when I find something all-in-one that we really connect with, I’m thrilled. The kits are affordable and self-contained. The monthly regularity gives us something to look forward to. We love the fact that we use the materials from previous months. The instructional videos are clear, short, and digestible. If you don’t understand exactly what you’re seeing, no worries: there are handy illustrations that you can zoom in on to make sure all the wires are where they should be. And the best part is that they explain the concepts behind the projects. You’re not just following instructions mindlessly; you’re learning electronics fundamentals. We’ve enjoyed moving things around and making new combinations to see what else we can create with our little kits. It’s really quite fabulous.

The EEME kit: baseboard (broken but workable), wires, resistors, batteries and battery compartment

The EEME kit: baseboard (broken but workable), wires, resistors, batteries and battery compartment

The Cons: I don’t have a lot of cons. My only complaint is that the initial baseboard arrived with two snapped off clips that are supposed to hold the battery compartment in place. It’s not a big deal – we just support the batteries by hand if we need flip the unit over. But I’ve sent several emails and notes asking for a replacement component (since it is the star of every month’s show), and have never received a response. The other odd thing is that the wires that arrived are different colors than the ones described in the videos. Once we figured out that we need to use yellow when our instructor says white, we were fine. But it’s something to be aware of. And that’s it. Those are the only complaints I have, and they are so minor. I highly recommend this program!

What it costs:

The basic plan is $18.95 per month and includes the materials and online videos. For $29.95 per month, you receive the same thing plus little covers that enclose the projects neatly (this is the Pro Plan). We went for the basic plan, and though at first Eva thought it would have been cool to have the covers, I just didn’t think they were worth the additional cost. If you think your kid might like to use the unit when they’re not building it, then go for the pro plan. But Eva just likes working with it during the lessons.

If you like, you can get the first month free by clicking this link. Just so you know, I’ll get a free month as well (up to two). You can also opt for their deal to receive the first month at 50% off by clicking on this link (I’m not getting any kick-back for that one). Either way, you know me well enough I hope to trust I would never recommend something I didn’t really love!

You can also try out their virtual breadboard for free by clicking here. It’s pretty cool.

Do you have a super-cool resource you wish everybody knew about? If so, please share in the comments. I’d love to hear about them!

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11 responses to “EEME: Building Circuits in the Classroom

  1. This looks great! My boys are getting their very first SNAP circuits for Christmas (I am the first and only official person to bring them to South Africa as yet… yay me! lol) and once those are successful I would love to try these out too! I just need to see if they a) ship internationally and b) if the monthly postage still keeps it as affordable.

    Aiden has decided that this next year is his big science year so I am gathering resources and ideas (squirrel style)

    • “Squirrel style.” Ha! That makes me happy – I can relate. Tell me what science topics you’re considering, and I’ll see if I help you out and make some more suggestions. We’ve covered a ton over the last few years, and I do have my favs. And please let me know how you like the Snap Circuit kits. I’ve seen them around for a while but have never used them.

  2. stanleyandkatrina says:

    Wow! These look AMAZING! What a great idea. Thank you for sharing!!!
    ~Christine M.

  3. Dana says:

    Cool, Gwyn. This looks great! Checking it out now.

  4. An update! After this post went live, EEME contacted me about the baseboard and shipped a new one out right away. For some reason, they had not received my emails. Super nice folks over there!

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