How to use snap circuits kits… First time I heard about them years ago from my neighbor, a physics teacher. He was so excited and happy, to say the least. He was so enthusiastic and eager to tell the world about his new discovery!
One of his students brought the kit at school. The guy was a bit confused and was not sure about some circuits, that’s why he brought it to his teacher to ask for advice. At that time my neighbor saw the set at the first time at his life.
After reading the manual and playing a little bit with snap circuits, he was convinced that it was one of the perfect ways to make an easy introduction to electricity and electronics at school.
Since then, every year, he is using snap circuits kit for educational purposes. And I understand his approach and totally agree with him.
What is a snap circuit kit?
Snap circuit kit is a kit containing easy to snap details (parts) with electronic components inside. It is a fun and easy way to learn about electricity and electronics. The only thing you need to do is to snap (to click) together the parts to ensure solid electrical connections between them.
The number of the projects to make depends on the number of components, experience, and the fantasy of the person involved.
What snap circuits are good for?
Snap circuits help to understand the fundamentals and basics behind circuitry and electricity in general. After completing the circuits and various projects, a student would get a general idea of how electricity is working in his house, how light is controlled by switches, what is a magnetic field, parallel and series circuits and much more.
What are the advantages of snap circuits kits?
- Snap circuit is one the best hands-on toy, especially if we are talking about the ones with longevity. It directly involves the learner and in order to get a result, it encourages him to build something with his hands and learn at the same time. I would say, it’s “learning by doing”, by being directly involved in the process. Any school kid, involved in hands-on exercise, has a great chance to observe and understand what it happening. There’s no need to call for their fantasy and say, for instance, “imagine that”, “think that”. The students have an absolutely perfect chance not only to watch but to participate directly in the activities.
- All snap circuits kits are educational toys. They are the most easy and able-to-get way to learn complicated subjects in a fun way – by playing. I know for a fact that snap circuit kits inspire invention, imagination, and desire to explore the world. You might say that those are big words, but I disagree… I have so many examples when kids who never showed any interest in science, were totally fascinated by their own models and even the simplest projects they built with snap circuits. Most of these kids were not only able to broaden their horizons, but they opened a new world for themselves: a world of discoveries and inventions.
- All snap circuit kits don’t require any soldering. I would like to highlight this fact! Very often learning electronics is connected with soldering, one way or the other. But of you want to avoid any dealings with a soldering iron while teaching electronics, these snap circuits kits are just what you need! And note, that you won’t need any soldering tools too.
- Can be easily and successfully used for virtual training and homeschooling.
- It’s a longevity They are aimed for 8-100+ and can be used by school kids or students with different skill levels. Nowadays you can find snap circuits kits for all types of users: beginners, people with intermediate skills and advanced hobbyists.
- There are many snap circuits kits with a possibility of future upgrade. It means that you can buy extra parts and components and build more projects using all the circuits available.
- Students can build lots of various projects using snap circuits and share their experience with friends, parents or maybe other groups of students. And it’s really very motivating, interest provoking and encouraging for future learning.
What are the types of snap circuits kits?
The main criterion on the basis of which snap circuits kits are divided into several groups is skill level. Nowadays you can find snap circuits kits for all types of users: beginners, people with intermediate skills and advanced hobbyists.
What is inside a snap circuit kit?
Any snap circuits kit comes with a base grid and various electronic components: snap wires, motors, resistors, batteries, lamps that allow to build working electronic circuits. The components are easy to snap together without soldering or twisting wires.
In most of the kits you can also find a detailed instruction manual that contains easy diagrams for building a certain amount of circuits along with a short description of what is happening. In some of the included manuals there are step-by-step illustrated instructions about various projects that are supposed to be built. Moreover, most of the manuals contain the basic introduction to the electricity and electronics, some electrical materials, magnetism and basic electrical circuits. As a rule, the description of each project is easy to understand and to follow. Assembly, operation, description parts are written in a clear language with some basic scientific explanations behind each activity.
How to incorporate snap circuits in teaching process?
Actually, it’s quite easy to do. Let’s say you need to explain series and parallel circuits. First you explain the theory: lamps are connected in series, if one bulb goes out they all go out. If connected in parallel, one bulb going out does not make the other bulbs go out. Then you demonstrate it with the 2-3 bulbs using snap circuits components.
After that your students can easily build a circuit with lamps connected in parallel and in series and see what happens. In addition, they can use their finger to physically trace the flow of electricity and see the difference between the types of circuits.
It’s just a small example. In the same way you can explain how motors and generators, capacitors and transistors work. With the help of snap circuits illumination kits and snap circuits kits with sound effects, you can explain light and sound respectively. Just make sure you have enough time to go through the snap circuits kits available in the modern market and think of the way to use them in your practice.
I’m absolutely convinced that the activity directly involving students in the learning process would enhance their education. But it would be even better, if such activities are combined with the traditional learning from books. I bet it’s obvious that it’s much easier to explain electricity and electronics with the help of any snap circuits kits.
I highly recommend to anyone, who would like to learn/teach electronics and/or has already done his first steps in this field, to play with any of a snap circuits kit in order to get further understanding of circuits, charges and more behind the world of electricity.