Retirement Hobbies

Electronic Circuit kits:

Recently, I have constructed three & passed on another. On the left, was a Lie Detector from Maplin that measured Galvanic skin resistance.

The others, from a Boldport subscription, included an electronic die, and a puzzle called Cordwood. Initially, I had problems with soldering (including a dry joint) which seems harder with new lead-free solder. I reflected that such would have been a good practical example for Phase diagram exemplification in the Thermodynamics lectures of our undergrad course. For example the worst solder was just two metals:tin 99.3%/copper 0.7%, and no resin flux. The best was 5core by Multicore with resin.

Soap Film Chemistry….

When I did Primary school STEM I had a Bubbles lesson with a goal of which pupil could mix the best soap film solution as finally tested by a bubble rocket. Various kits are available: Bubble Lab by GALT (available in Art and Charity shops); KiwiCo now available in the UK have bubble stuff; and Extreme kits.co.uk are active.

SUMMARY

There are several firms making kits which I would venture is targetted at middle class parents trying to improve the education of their kids. A difficult and competitive (Boldport is now defunct) space, but there are new entries some sponsored by various govt schemes, Finland regards education as a key area. There are others in the electronic kit production space eg with robots, where hot soldering irons are not required.

Finally and tangentially, public funded Science centres, festivals, undergrad groups doing outreach from University make it difficult for entrepreneurs to succeed in this area.

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