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What We Teach

Gadget Lab operates under the premise that our homes are a laboratory of joy and learning. While we sometimes use 3D printers and computers, our main goal is to find the magic in ordinary things, then tear them apart and see how they work. Our workshops are divided into three primary categories:  GadgetHeads, CodeHeads, Arts and Design.  Short format workshops offer a variety of  one  or two day workshops on various topics. 

All workshops have a "Screentime" rating and include a list of the skills for a Tech Resume where kids keep track of what they've learned. They can use this resume  for summer job applications or for bragging to the relatives.

 Circuits and Engineering

Our circuits and engineering workshops offers fun hands-on activities that teach about the world of circuits and their components. We take a close look at the ordinary objects around us and learn how they work. We learn about motors, circuits and batteries then make our own robots in the CodeHeads workshops. 

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GadgetHeads

The theme of GadgetHeads is "Robots the Inside Story".  You don't actually make robots (we do that in CodeHeads) but you'll learn about motors, circuits and batteries - key components of robots- by making cool projects like a spinny motor, a doorbell for your room, a cool copper flashlight.

 

You'll learn to use a heat gun and a soldering iron to make circuits and an electronic Simon Says game. 

 

This is Gadget Lab's core workshop and every activity is designed to build skills, inspire curiosity and instill a joy in making things yourself. 

Ages: 10 -14

Screentime Rating: Moderate (Just the 3D Design for the doorbell).

Tech Resume Skills:  Circuit building, safe care and use of a soldering iron and heat gun, through-hole soldering, wire splicing, basic electron theory,  structure of LEDs and transistors.

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GadgetHeads Prep
This fun hands on workshop covers all the topics from the regular Gadget Heads program but in a simpler format. Learn about electricity, circuits, magnetism and mechanics  by making a rigged out cigar box house for your tiny “Power Pet”.  You'll also make a floating magnet sculpture and more.

Ages:  8-9

Screentime Rating: None

Tech Resume Skills: Intro to electricity, circuit building, safe care and use of a power drill and a heat gun.

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Circuits Circuits
You know those cool hallway circuits where one switch turns on the hall light and the other turns it off - or back on? That's one of the many circuits you'll make this this fun hands-on workshop where you'll learn about the different switches and circuits that you use everyday.

You'll use through-hole soldering to make a mini keyboard, and splice various components to make a fun sampler of switches that show your mastery of different circuit building techniques.  You can use our circuit diagrams or design your own.

This project is based on the SwitchBox project from the book  Snip, Burn, Solder Shred  by David Erik Nelson.  I highly recommend it for kids and adults!

Ages: 10 -14

Screentime Rating: None

Tech Resume Skills:  Circuit building, through-hole soldering, wire splicing, basic electron theory, the safe care and use of a power drill, a soldering iron and a heat gun. You'll also gain a thorough understanding of the structure and use of electronic switches and components including resistors, capacitors and potentiometers. 

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EngineHeads

Engines are very cool and we have a lot of them here at the lab in various stages of disassembly.  They offer insights into important engineering topics like crankshafts (vertical to rotational motion),  the Venturi Effect, cams, gears and more.

In this fun hands-on workshop, you'll learn about different types of engines and will make a piston and cylinder model to take home. Wear old clothes because this workshop gets messy!

Ages: 9-14

Screentime Rating: None

Tech Resume Skills: an understanding of two vs four stroke engines,  internal vs external combustion engines, Stirling engines, steam engines,  mufflers, carburetors, Venturi Effect, crankshafts and more