Prep Work: Making this kit plug-and-play, no tools required

A project log for Bite-Sized Breadboards: Light Sensor

A short and fun interactive breadboard project. Cover the light sensor and the LED "eyes" light up!

Alpenglow IndustriesAlpenglow Industries 08/19/2020 at 03:540 Comments

I developed this kit for a summer camp that was happening virtually, during the summer of 2020 when COVID-19 prevented in-person classes.  These are the things we did ahead of time, so that no tools were required for the girls to assemble the kits.

  1. If using the Adafruit battery board with switch (preferred), solder the header it comes with to the board.  The long side of the pins and black header should be on the bottom.  In order to prevent the header pins from getting bent during transit, you can ship it plugged into the breadboard (not in its final location, but careful of orientation.  Pins should be in separate rows.)  If you don't have access to a soldering iron, you can use the alternate battery holder and switch parts and plug them straight into the breadboard.  The battery holder legs are short (these had the longest we could find), so it doesn't stay put as well as the Adafruit battery board does.
  2. Cut the photocell legs so that it sits just above the breadboard.
  3. Cut the blue and beige resistor legs a bit shorter as well.
  4. Cut the transistor legs.
  5. Cut the LED legs.  This one is mandatory because LEDs have legs that are 2 different lengths.  The above cuts just make it easier.
  6. Be sure to package the battery in a separate bag (so it doesn't accidentally form a circuit with another component in transit and drain).
  7. Print the single page instructions and the kit contents "placemat".

You can use alternate parts from the ones in our Bill of Materials, however, we compared many parts, and think these are the easiest and best to use if you don't want the students to need to use wire cutters and pliers.