Elenco Electronic Snap Circuit
We bought the Elenco Snap Circuit SC-300 from Amazon and received the box on a Friday afternoon. Our 8-year old son cannot contain his excitement that he opened the box right away. He played with it until late that night. At 6 AM the following morning, he was awake playing with the Snap Circuit again! Even our 2-year-old was enjoying it, especially the project# 11 Flying saucer. He was giggling as the flying saucer spins & flies out the electronic circuit board!
Saturday morning, I was awakened by a loud alarm that our son created out of the snap circuit project #53 Flashing laser lights with sound.
After just 24 hours, our son is on the 54th project! I even saw drawings on a paper about circuitry, to which he said his “his own creation project”.
Sunday morning, I was awakened by the sound of radio playing music and AM news that my husband created out of the Elenco Snap Circuit SC-300 project 242 AM Radio!
- No soldering required
This feature is truly awesome! No need for a messy & tedious process of soldering the components to create a project. Projects can be done quickly by snapping each component in place. Snapping the parts on & off can be done unlimited times.
- Easy to follow instruction manuals
All of the projects have instructions & graphics that are well laid out. Parts are color-coded & properly labeled components instructions manual. “R1” to “R5” labels for “Resistor” depending on the resistance value. “1” -“7” are labels for “connector” based on length. It is very easy to follow where to put the component on the base because it has grid lines labeled from 1 to 10 horizontally and A to G vertically.
- Key electronics concepts are explained
Each project has notes explaining what each component does as part of the electronic circuitry. This is where learning takes place. The concept of electronic parts, such as “What is a capacitor?”, “How do they look like?”, “What do they do?” are all answered effortlessly as they physically touch and connect them with the other components of the electronic circuitry. This Elenco Snap Circuit SC-300 toy is truly a brilliant way to learn electronic circuitry at a very young age. As they say, “Experience is the best teacher”. This kind of learning is actually enabling the kids to fully understand the basic concept of electronics in a way that they can explain it through their own words. This is by far effective than a classroom lecture or a video they watch in TV. In a span of 2 days, our 8-year is able to explain “what is a resistor, a capacitor, an amplifier, an antenna, a variable resistor, a variable capacitor”! With dad’s help on explaining some of the more complicated concepts, of course.
- Multiple Projects in one box
Elenco Snap Circuit SC-300 has 305 projects! That means using the same 60 components in one box, 305 different circuit configurations or projects can be done. There is also a possibility of creating your very own, unique circuitry. Each project showcases a unique capability, from simple circuitry to a more complicated one. Project#1 Electric Light and Switch is an easy one with few components, consisting of a mini light bulb and an on/off switch. Two pieces of AA batteries is required as an electric source. Project # 242 AM Radio is a more complicated project on completing a working AM radio. It consists of resistors, capacitors, variable capacitors, integrated circuits, adjustable resistors, power amplifiers, speakers, slide switch and two sets of batteries.
- Components look and feel a little fragile
Some plastic components, the resistor’s tiny wires, and the capacitor’s protruding parts looks and feel fragile, which could easily be knocked off. Once any of these parts got broken, the whole project using the part can no longer work because of disconnection. Good thing there are several pieces on each type of part.
- Contains small parts
The small parts can easily get lost and are choking hazards for kids under 3 years old.
I guess that is why this STEM toy is actually built for ages 8 to 108, it needs to be played carefully and responsibly.
A word of advice
The second book, which contains projects 102-305, is a lot more complicated than the first book, which contains projects 1-105. This is why it is important to start with the most basic project #1. First and foremost, it is important to read the cautions about “What not to do”. Be sure not to create circuit configurations that could short the circuit. Understanding the instructions becomes easier as the project # progresses and as you gain familiarity with the locations of the parts and snapping the components in place.
Elenco Snap circuit is the best STEM toy that promotes early hands-on learning about electronic circuits. It’s never been easy to remember and differentiate a capacitor from a resistor and actually experience first-hand what do each component does as a part of a circuit. As my 8-year old puts it “I like snap circuits because it makes me smarter!”
If you want to give your kids a head start to stay relevant in this fast-paced world, where jobs are at risk of being replaced by automation and robotics, STEM jobs are set to continuously grow in demand. These Electronic Snap Circuits STEM toys are definitely good toys to have.
Lots of Choices
A wide variety of choices is available on Amazon. Below are the most popular options.
This Snap circuit kit offers more than 750 projects using the same 80 components designed for ages 8 to 108. Featured experiments include lie detector, sound-activated switch, rechargeable battery, AM radio, adjustable light controllers and a lot more totally interesting projects. This option has the capability to convert your computer monitor into an oscilloscope to be able to see the signals in process in the assembled circuit using Windows PC and the included CI-73 Computer Interface. Parts include all the parts in the SC-300 model plus photo-resistor, analog meter, solar cell and computer interface.
SCL-175 model is designed for ages 8+ with over 175 electronic projects and 55 components. It is geared towards creating light shows projects using color-changing LED, glow in the dark propeller, strobe Integrated Circuit, infrared receiver, fiber optic communication and a lot more. The color organ can be controlled by smartphone, voice or finger, which enables the lights to change in response to the beat of the smart-phone, voice or finger.
This “Green Energy” option is designed for students ages 8 to 108. It contains 49 components, which creates over 125 electronic projects, which include FM Radio, Energy Compartment, Rechargeable Battery, Windmill, Clock, Analog Meter, and a lot more, it is specially designed to create a hands-on, entertaining education about the different sources of electricity. This is a fantastic way to demonstrate how renewable energy is generated in a way that is safe and enjoyable for kids. This kit comes with green energy components – like a solar cell, hand crank, fan, water wheel and a liquid holder with an electrode. It also includes a full-color manual with over 100 pages and a separate educational manual about alternative energy sources.
If you’re not sure whether your child would gain interest in electronic circuitry or not, another good option is to try the most Snap Circuits Beginner. This electronic exploration kit comes in a basic package, which is the cheapest among the Elenco Snap Circuit models. This kit includes 14 parts, which is capable of creating more than 20 projects – which include a 2-speed fan, a lamp, lights (red, yellow), horn, creating sound or motion utilizing switches and a lot more variations about lights, sounds, motion, and an egg!
What do you think of these Elenco Snap Circuits? Share your thoughts below! 🙂