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STEM Education Program Provider

In the past week, I had the pleasure of delivering a STEM Education program at RoboEDU’s Richmond, BC location on soldering. The instructional material I used was called SparkTip: a beginner friendly soldering iron kit. This product was successfully launched on Kickstarter last month and this was our first opportunity to trial within a classroom.

Original Campaign Page:

RoboEDU is a STEM-learning centre that offers a variety of learning programs centered on robotics. These include Robotics Clubs, Coding Programs, 3-D printing, AI Computer Vision, Leadership Training aimed to build creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. RoboEDU is an organization that we have successfully run programs with in the past. In speaking with Matt, the lead instructor at the location, we found out that there wasn’t many electronics learning program but we both recognized the importance of the topic leading to our motivation in offering the soldering camp.

I was tasked to teach the one-week (10-hours) program. My own academic background, while in STEM, is not within electronics but I found the presentation of the materials suitable for my direct implementation. Within the kit was a 70-page mini tutorial book covering the basics of soldering. The contents are organized in chapters according to:

I. Introduction

II. Getting familiar with tools

III. Solder two pieces of wire

IV. Solder through-hole components

V. Surface mount technology basics

VI. Appendix with troubleshooting advice & common mistakes to avoid

We found the book to be an entertaining read since it is heavy in graphics and knowledge delivered in an easy-to-follow way. This method of delivery is ideal for student learning in after-school programs since it keeps them more engaged than reading traditional textbook format. Higher engagement leads to more interactive classroom and better learning outcomes.

After we familiarized ourselves with the basics, we opened the SparkTip kit and enclosed within were soldering iron, spools of solder, different tips, and a stand with a sponge that can be used a cleaning station. My particular teaching set also came with a variety of DIY electronics project that needed to be soldered together. These projects include:

· A simple USB nightlight

· An electronics fidget spinner

· LED chaser wheel

· FM radio kit

· Metal detector

· Electronics luck wheel

My student chose to work on the FM radio kit and the electronics luck wheel. The circuit schematics, sample shown below, were detailed and easy for the student to follow along.

FM radio kit and the electronics luck wheel DIY Soldering projects
FM radio kit and the electronics luck wheel DIY Soldering projects

The kits come with a good amount of solder to allow user to finish a few projects. The soldering pen comes with an instruction manual that explains the modes of heating. There are two modes: (1) continuous heating which ramps up to the maximum temperature and keeps it steady and (2) hold-to-heat mode where it only heats if the button is pressed. I suggest using the later to conserve battery but, in my experiences, the continuous heating mode can be sustained for ~30 minutes on a full charge. The kit also comes with an exhaust fan which we used to limit the amount of solder fumes we inhaled. When soldering, it’s always recommended to work in a well-ventilated space, so we had our doors and windows open to circulate air.

Student creating own project using SparkTip Soldering Iron Kit
Student creating own project using SparkTip Soldering Iron Kit
Student creating own project using SparkTip Soldering Iron Kit
Minute Soldering done smoothly with SparkTip

After some demonstration, our student was able to work independently through the projects. This experiential learning has the benefit that it allows individuals to gain hands on learning skills as well as develop critical thinking and trouble shooting abilities. It is unrealistic to expect to be able to build flawless designs on the first go so learning from mistakes is very important. One of the circuits that our student built, the spinning wheel, did not function as expected the first time. The lights weren’t coming on as expected so he got to experience the trouble-shooting and debugging process. With the help of our manual, he was able to identify regions of poor connectivity as well as solder bridging and after some quick tinkering was able to fix the project.

Some of the key highlights for me as an educator delivering this program include:

Easy to follow instructions

  • One-stop solution to teaching soldering (no need for me to dig around at electronics stores for components)

  • Solder iron heats up quickly

  • The learning manuals and materials are of high physical quality

Overall, I had a blast delivering this program and look forward to doing it again in the future!

Student with our SparkTip Soldering Iron Kit
Student with our SparkTip Soldering Iron Kit

Once our campaign obligations are fulfilled, we expect to launch this learning opportunity to more schools and after-school tutoring agencies. I would recommend this product for:

  • Institutions looking for an easy-to-implement soldering program

  • After-school STEM agencies

  • Parents who want to learn a new skill at home with their children

  • Students who prefer tactile, hands-on learning activities

If you are looking to implement our program or would like to discuss more, feel free to reach out to me at

EIM is a provider of innovative ed-tech solutions in the electronics teaching space. We have a wide range of tools including breadboard power supplies, oscilloscopes, multimeters, and learning curricula. Check our products on EIM customers include schools as well as end-users. All products mentioned in this post are available for purchase at our online store.

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