Preparing young people for the future is what education is all about. More than ever, there’s an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), because these skills are essential not only to daily life but to many career opportunities in the modern economy. Snap Circuits® Jr. makes learning basic electronics concepts — an important aspect of the STEM field — easy and fun. And thanks to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), this popular award-winning kit is now accessible for students who are blind or visually impaired.
The Snap Circuits Jr. Access Kit exclusively from APH turns Elenco’s commercial product into an inclusive learning opportunity. The kit teaches kids about circuits, current, resistance, switches, motors and other electronics concepts. The brightly colored parts are labeled in braille, so they’re accessible to students who are blind or have low vision. Just like the commercial version, the durable parts can be easily assembled on a grid into projects that make sounds, light up and more. The Snap Circuits Jr. Access Kit also features instructions that describe each project with step-by-step instructions in braille and large print, instead of the pictorial diagrams used in the commercial version. Students gain basic hands-on knowledge of electronics, while enjoying the satisfaction of snapping the parts into place and turning on each circuit. There are instructions in the kit for building 101 projects, like a musical doorbell, a flying saucer and a light police siren.
Advanced students can create even more projects using parts like integrated circuits that produce sound, switches, a speaker and a motor with a fan blade. These kits are widely used in schools, so an accessible version for students who are blind or visually impaired is another opportunity for inclusion in integrated classrooms. Students of all visual abilities can be working on the same projects side by side, which levels the playing field at school and opens doors to future career opportunities in the STEM field.
Designed for students ages 8 and up, the Snap Circuits Jr. Access Kit is fun for all ages and visual abilities. Building projects with Snap Circuits Jr. is just as enjoyable for adults — in fact, the idea for the accessible version came from an APH employee who is blind and enjoys tinkering with the more advanced versions of Snap Circuits as a hobby. In addition to the complete Snap Circuits Jr. Access Kit, there’s also a Snap Circuits Jr. Access Pack for customers who already own the commercial version of Snap Circuits Jr. The Access Pack contains braille labels to be applied to the commercial kit’s parts, along with the braille and large print instructions. Before APH released the Snap Circuits Jr. Access Kit, APH tested it in classrooms. “Students were pleased to learn that they could independently create working circuits,” one field tester told us. “They were all proud of themselves.”
At APH, we’re always looking for ways to give students who are blind or visually impaired the same opportunities to succeed as everyone else. With the Snap Circuits Jr. Access Kit, we just might be building the next generation of electronics experts who will shape the world of the future.