The Rocket – new beginner kit

20 March

Yes, I am making rocket noises.  How could you not?

Marty and I are so excited to be working on a new kit for beginners, the Rocket!  It all started when Sara from ICE (the Institute for Chemical Education) stopped by our both at Ritz Crafters.  She and I have a passion for educating and inspiring girls and struck up a great conversation.  We exchanged e-mails, and in one of them she asked if we could make an even simpler kit for middle schoolers.  Vola, the Rocket Beginner kit was born.  We took our 3-piece solar powered LED instructable, shown below, and made a board to go with it.

3 Piece LED

3 Piece LED

 

We decided to add a USB tab and resistor for charging.  I then set about designing a circuit board.  Below are our 4 possibilities.  The one on the right was the clear winner, it looked like a rocket ship.

Configurations

Configurations

We sent the files off to OSH Park for prorotypes.

Computer rendering

Computer rendering

Prototypes arrived 2 weeks later.  Notice the quarter for scale.  So cute!

Prototype board

Prototype Board

 

We couldn’t wait to solder them together that night.  We made one a blue LED and one a red LED.

Blue LED Rocket

Blue LED Rocket

 

Red LED Rocket

Red LED Rocket

The blue LED took a lot longer to charge as it needed a higher voltage before it started to emit light.  The red LED charged much quicker and shone brighter.  We figured middle schoolers would be impatient, so red it is for the kits.  And yes, I was making rocket noises, I couldn’t help myself.  3…2…2…BLASTOFF!!!

Rocket noises required

Rocket noises required

 

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