Friday, September 25, 2015

Tech/Electronics Activity (STEM): Soldering Practice-European Siren

Since our son is technically in ninth grade this year, I wanted to get him going on some fun activities to start his Technology [auto/etc.] and Electronics course.  One thing my husband wanted him to be able to do well, was to solder [pronounced like sawder].  I was watching a bunch of YouTubers who mentioned the STEM activities they do, and one brand kept being shown/mentioned.  So I checked Amazon, and sure enough-there they were.  I ordered three kits to start.  I first chose one that included the soldering gun (very important), the necessary parts/tools, and had a fairly simple task to complete (in this case, the European siren) but there are other to choose from.  My son also wanted to build both the AM and the FM radios-so I bought those as well.  I will order a few more kits for him, if he wants to continue doing projects like this. I also have my eye on a few other similar type activities, so we will see.  I want to keep his attention, while he learns valuable skills, and not brake the bank. These three kits were very modestly priced, so that is why I chose them to start.
Product Details   Product Details.Product Details 
Soldering kits are by Elenco
Images from

We will be stretching the course out for at least two to three years, so we can lean this out for as long as we deem fit. All of these kits prep our boy for being able to fix electrical things about the home and/or vehicles, etc. Plus, he has to follow schematics, troubleshoot (and they did alright-a few times) and push through when it gets difficult.  All great skills to have under one's belt.
So for those wondering how to or where to put this (for transcript purposes), you can file it under a few different areas. Be creative.  Maybe it will only be a snippet activity you can put under a science course.  Maybe your student will be doing lots of activities like this, so you can create a whole class around them. Just have a main goal in mind-whatever you decide that will be.  For those following the STEM plan/idea, this would fit under the technology and engineering part of it. Or this could be filed under your student's overall VoTech or Auto or Electrical Engineering 101 class. I haven't named our course yet, but it will definitely be listed as something auto/motor/engine related. The general idea is that there be some fun activities (the kits) mixed with book lessons, along with the majority of it being totally hands-on experience.

By the way-this is all my hubby's territory so I may not be speaking proper technical terms here. That's OK tho, that is why he is teaching it and I just smile, order the goodies and mark down the progress/grades. I won't even pretend to know most of what this is all about.  My time and brain is so stuffed with all other sorts of things, that I am not in the least bit ashamed to hand this off to my husband to teach. It's his passion and hobby anyway. Plus, this is one area my husband and son can be all manly manish together. Not to mention the great memories they will have to share-and the extra fix-it man I have readily available when his dad is out of town!  LOL  Hey, don't blame me for seeing all the possibilities here.

Completed project!  

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