15JulYard sale treasures

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This summer is the perfect period for yard sales! I have a few secret collections that are building up! All of them related to my research of course. One of my recent find is this vintage electronic kit for children, “discover the magic and mystery of electronics in minutes”. Working in a group that researches on a seamless and tangible relationship to digital information, I find this child’s game particularly of interest.

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Each block represents an electronic component. As the child assembles the blocks together, the child designs a circuit. All the pieces have a magnet underneath. They can be assembled on a metallic large plate, plate that works as the circuit ground. The game is about electronics, analog electronics, but the iteration process of electronics discovery is “tangible”. The child can relate to the kit like a puzzle and by this is invited to experiment with each piece. Many authors have claimed that the understanding of electronics is hands-on. Making this process connected to the learning of electronic symbols + offering a puzzle based interaction to circuit design is very exciting! Now there is a consequence to the connection of the pieces, where the electronics knowledge starts and the children are empowered in the design, focusing essentially on their component and how they spatially fits. Later on they can move on to working directly with the components …

I have a more recent version of an electronic kit that shows directly the components, not the symbols. The connection is made by inserting wires between each component. I much prefer the puzzle based approach that welcome easy improvisation and experimentation with circuit design.

Posted by Cati Vaucelle @ Architectradure

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  1. Gravatar Icon 1 Zee DeVoSS16 Jul 2008

    Hehehe, what a cool discovery! I had a “recent version”, connecting components with wires. The name was “200-in-1″ or something like this. I played hours, weeks, years with it, creating radiophone, alarms and various tests (almost 200 indeed!) it did not help with my physics classes! Maybe I would have learned better with the symbols-puzzle instead ;) …

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Evan Edwards27 Oct 2008

    Wow! Thanks so much for posting this! I had this toy as a 7 year old back in the 1970’s! I’m 46 now and I’ve been trying to figure out the name of it for years and years! I finally tried a Google image search with ‘magnetic blocks with electronic components’ and your image turned up.

    It was a wonderful toy and started me on a lifelong interest in electronics! To this day I think how great were my parents that they got me that toy! Seriously! The pictures you posted brought back a flood of fond memories, I remember each of those blocks well!

    Lectron! Decades of searching ended for me today! Thank you so much.

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 David28 Dec 2008

    Excellent! Ditto the comments from Evan Edwards, my experience almost identical. Please, won’t you sell me your kit? I’ve been searching for so long….

    Thank you!


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