We worked with SAM Products to share this fun circuit design learning kit for our elementary and middle school aged daughters. All experiences are our own.
I want my kids to learn the most they can from computer engineering and science. Having a background in Computer Engineering, I always thought it was so neat how something could be created from connecting components, wires, with electricity. Our life these days rely on computer engineering and science for so many things we use every day.
Science Museum has created a fun wireless circuit design kit called the SAM Science Museum Inventor Kit. This fun wireless kit comes with an array of components such as buttons, color adjustable LEDs, light sensor, tilt sensor, dc motor, servo motor, and more. While this kit is created for inventors ages 7 and up, there is actually a wide use of the kit. What makes this kit really unique is its wireless capability.
Using the app SAM Space which was designed for this kit, makes it easy to create and learn off circuit design. SAM Space is the schematic that allows the modules to be connected wirelessly. It’s really simple to use, turn on the blocks you want to use, open the app, pick the blocks to place, then connect them with wireless connections through the app.
They are wireless so will run out of power, but they are super simple to charge with a mini-USB cord supplied. When charging they will be a red color indicating they are charging and when charged with glow green.
The app does more than just allowing connections. Depending on the module, the app can also adjust LED colors, Servo operation, set a tune for the buzzer, and control other functions.
The app also allows the use of logic gates: AND, NAND, NOR, OR, & XOR. The gates allow inputs to control outputs. Take the AND gate, when you hook 2 inputs to an and gate, the function then states that input 1 AND input 2, will create a high output. Digital circuits are neat because they use low voltage and work on an on OR off output, or 1 or 0. An instance is say a simple alarm that activates on movement and light. If only one input is sensed, the alarm would not sound with an AND gate. An OR gate would work because the OR gate is simple, one input or the other input will give a high. No inputs at all give no output.
Check out this fun video showing off the SAM Inventor Kit.
The SAM blocks are neatly designed and easy to use.
While logic gates may be confusing, there are the basis of all digital devices and many to most electrical devices. The SAM Lab inventor kit is great to create designs that teach kids how an input can give an output. As they get older and learn more, the SAM Lab kit can teach digital logic as well as provide apps to create a series of systems.
I remember doing digital design in college and we worked on simulator software to design circuits, and even before that created simple circuits designs using wires, integrated circuits, and voltage. It was a fun class that taught me a lot. Now I can teach my daughter about circuit design without the wires, and all the little resistors and connections, making it easy for her to learn the fundamentals.
It is also easy to connect the modules to their computer with the supplied USB 4.0 Bluetooth dongle.
What I love about the SAM Inventor Kit is how easy they are to setup and interact with, and the compact and cute wireless electronic blocks that connecting easily with the SAM Space App. My girls can learn about engineering while also having fun.