Know a parent that is still trying to figure out how to keep their children’s brains engaged and unplugged for a few hours a day? I do. Over the past few weeks I have been limiting once again my kids online time. The spent much of the beginning of their summer vacation playing video games, on the computer, and their Kindle Fire's. I get the draw I really do. There is so much to do online but I believe unplugged play is the best way. Well guys look no further because Chris Gatbonton who is the Founder & CEO of Creation Crate (https://www.creationcrate.com) has an idea. Creation Crate is a subscription box service aimed at ages 12 and up, that helps kids learn to build real-world electronics.
The Creation Crate curriculum focuses on introducing new concepts every month that build on the concepts learned from the months before. The projects are designed to increase in difficulty each month in order to be fluent in the language of technology by the end of the 24 month curriculum. Projects range from building a mood lamp, to a memory game focused on programming, to learning how to input a distance reading from an ultrasonic sensor.
Unlike other technology subscription boxes, Creation Crate uses raw electronic components, offering real-world skills. These boxes are also truly beginner friendly with no previous experience needed. While other boxes teach using intimidating technical lingo, Creation Crate doesn’t. Creation Crate subscriptions start at $30 a month, with available 3, 6 or 12 month packages to choose from.
This is a great idea! I love the fact that they are learning something and it falls into their dad's business too. He has been doing electronics for years and programming over the past 4 years so this first crate was interesting.
When we opened the box we saw that the project was a mood lamp that they would have to program. The site says...
This project will help you build a fun game that challenges your memory recall
of randomly-generated sequences of multi-colored LEDs.
- 2.1. Using Multiple Inputs and Outputs (I/O, I/O, it’s off to code I go.)
- 2.2. Randomizing Outputs
- 2.3. Using Arrays
- 2.4. Generating Sounds – Frequency Manipulation
So while all of that is interesting, I loved that this was something they could do with their dad.
The box contained everything you need to create a mood lamp.
Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) X 1
Red LED X 1
Green LED X 1
Blue LED X 1
Regular Jumper Wires X 8 (+2 extra)
U-shaped Jumper Wires X 6
2.2k OHM Resistor X 1
Breadboard (830 Tie-points) X 1
UNO R3 (Arduino-compatible) X 1
USB Cable X 1
Chinese Paper Lanter X 1
I loved hearing them talk about the part and for him to explain them to the kids and to be honest I was kinda intimidated by it all. What do I know about electronics. We all learned what a Breadboard is and he showed us how to place the LEDs and jumper wires into the Breadboard. He even showed us a few he has downstairs so it really opened up a dialog where he shared his work with us. It was nice and not something we do ever.
While we haven't programmed it yet (that is next weekend), I can't wait to see how it turns out. It probably could have all been done this past weekend but like I said, we talked more than worked and for our family talking and sharing is something I think is very important.
Creation Crate, thanks for bringing my family together for a few hours.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered or received.