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MakerBloks, the coolest new STEM toy for all ages

March 10, 2016
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makerbloks

Circuitry learning for the future

You know those cool science experiments where you take a potato and turn it into a battery with a few pieces of metal and nimble hands? It produces enough power to run a small digital clock or lightbulb and is a great way to introduce STEM thinking and skills. The makers of MakerBloks have brought that concept into the digital age with hands-on building and a digital activity book.

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What are MakerBloks?

MakerBloks is changing how kids and parents use tablets. Children (ages six and up) learn everything from electronics to cooking with magnetic building blocks that interact with a digital activity book and a variety of tablet games. MakerBloks helps to get kids working with their hands and thinking outside of the screen to keep learning fun and engaging.

MakerBloks link up to each like dominos, only magnetic. Each MakerBlok links up magnetically and when you assemble each component they form real circuits. Kids can build everything from a lie-detector to a voice changing microphone and more. MakerBloks are intuitive, safe, and connect via Bluetooth. With Bluetooth, the blocks can interact with the digital activity book, available on your tablet. In each chapter of the activity book, blocks can be used to tackle problems and solve puzzles. The activities are based on the story of a curious young girl, Gabi, who lives in MakerCity. Use your blocks to help Gabi and her neighbors solve the puzzles and keep your kids engaged in STEM activities.

What kinds of circuits are included?

Currently, MakerBloks offers three kits: a spy kit, music kit, and circuitry kit. The spy kit lets you build a lie-detector, burglar alarm, and more. The music kit lets budding musicians build their own instruments that can play orchestral, space, and farm sounds. With the circuitry kit you can make your own toys, build a Simon-says game, or a voice changing microphone.

There are twelve types of blocks with which you can interact:

  1. Battery Block: everything starts with this block. All the other block rely on this to do their jobs.
  2. Push Switch: push this and it will trigger the actions of the block next to it.
  3. LED Light: comes in all the colors of the rainbow and will literally light up when you have an idea.
  4. High Resistor: this block dims the light or sound of the block beside it.
  5. Medium Resistor: this block reduces noise and light a little, but not too much.
  6. Low Resistor: this block reduces noise and light a little, you’ll barely know it’s there.
  7. Photoresistor: is sensitive to light. If you cover it, it won’t do anything, but if you put light on it…
  8. Rocker Switch: just like a light switch; flip it and let your ideas flow
  9. Variable resistor: this knob lets you control the intensity of the action
  10. Buzzer: this block makes noise! It’ll cheer you on when you’re right and warn you when you’re wrong
  11. Splitter: takes the energy of the power block and spreads it in three different directions.
  12. Processor: the brain of the whole block set. It makes the games logical so you can enjoy the fun.

Even if you don’t have children, these blocks could be lovely tools for teaching inventiveness to anyone, young and older alike. This would also be an amazing tool for teachers. MakerBloks is definitely worth a look if you’re interested in STEM activities or fostering a sense of thinking outside of the box.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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