Teachers today are facing a difficult problem with far-reaching consequences for all levels of education. One of the world’s most required skillsets is not only difficult to teach, but conceptually difficult and hard to develop a passion for. With FELTRONICS, electronics theory and design can be presented to any age with hands-on experimentation rewarded with instant feedback from a completed circuit.
Large-scale discrete components are marked with IEEE standard graphics, and mounted to easy-to-manipulate felt bases. Magnets on every trace end of each part make for easy circuit completion. The benefits of this approach are many, among them familiarization with component function, basic circuit-design skills, and above-all, engaging low cost education in one of the world’s most necessary skills.
A complete set of fully functional feltronics components can be created with no special equipment for well under $100. Individual felt components will cost between $0.25 and $1.00 depending on where you get your materials. A yard of felt (which ends up being 2 square yards) cost less than 5 dollars. Resistors can be had for pennies… if you overpay. Transistors and timing chips and other bits of silicon will cost well under a dollar even if purchased at Radio Shack – and online purchasing drives the cost under five or ten cents. The magnets we chose can be found online for around $0.20 each – by far the most expensive part we used. Smaller less powerful magnets may actually work even better, and cost less. The highest cost of Feltronics is in the multimeter component. The Arduino to drive it, at thirty dollars, is by far the most expensive piece of a Feltronics set.
Feltronics on Vimeo.