Snap Circuits: Green Energy
Snap Circuits Green Energy by Elenco is a circuitry set intended for ages eight and up. The set includes 45+ parts, most notably: a fan, solar panel, voltmeter, various motors, and an electrode set. Naturally, the set also comes with the manual containing 125+ projects and a pamphlet explaining how green energy works and why it’s beneficial to use green energy sources over fossil fuels and other nonrenewable resources. The projects have varying difficulties allowing younger users to become acquainted with how circuits work and how different parts in the set work together to achieve a final goal. Some of the pieces might require adult supervision or assistance; younger users might not understand what the project is or how the pieces are supposed to be connected. The kit allows users to utilize sunlight, ionization of molecules in liquids, and human power (that is, a hand crank on an electric generator) as renewable sources of energy to power the circuit in place of a traditional battery.
This kit introduces important engineering aspects like improved spatial reasoning, critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and design to younger children. In order for the predicted result to be produced, users must ensure that they are correctly assembling the circuit as seen in the diagram for the project. If the result is not correct, the child must reassess their design and find where it differs from the depicted circuit in the project manual. If the user has successfully completed all of the projects then they can utilize their own creativity and create any number of circuits using their acquired knowledge of how the components operate. Snap Circuits Green Energy is very engaging and helps strengthen spatial reasoning, critical and creative thinking, design, and problem solving in users.
Engineering Design Process
Apply Science, Engineering, Mathematics Knowledge
Issues, Solutions, and Impacts
Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.
One reviewer said,
"I liked this kit a lot! I like that it has an emphasis on green energy, which is unique in the Snap Circuits kits. The components were all very easy to assemble and snap together nicely. I think this is a great starting kit to introduce children to circuitry and electricity. The book had a large number of projects to complete and had both simple and complex circuits. Overall, I think this is an excellent circuits kit."