I help run a couple of local community groups, Scouts and CoderDojo, both of which have had to adapt during Covid lockdowns. This has been more of a challenge for Scouts, which tends to focus on practical activities outdoors, or in the Scout hut. We’ve had to restrict activities somewhat to typical household items.
This term we decided to send our Scouts a bag of resources and, as I’ve always fancied doing the Electronics Badge with our group, I designed this activity to go in the bag.
Who is this aimed it?
I designed it with kids aged about 10 and above in mind. The project is however suitable for anyone interested in having a crack at building a simple electronics project.
The project is split into three easily testable stages:
- Using a button, battery, LED and a resistor, make the LED light when the button is pressed.
- Add the 555 timer to make the LED flash (flashing may only be visible on webcams; it’s very fast).
- Add the decade counter and 5 more LEDs to complete the dice.
It requires no prior knowledge of electronics to run this activity.
Kit of Parts
It is possible to build this for as little as £5.21 (including the breadboard, battery and jump wires) if purchasing in bulk and are able to use all the components.
Some of the parts come in quantities of 5 or 10, or in the case of the wires, an assorted bundle. The prices are per kit, after splitting the bags of parts. These are common parts, and are available from other suppliers.
Actual mileage may vary on price depending upon chosen supplier and delivery charges.
|Battery Connector||RS Components||489-021||1||£0.52|
|Push Button||RS Components||283-9759||1||£0.20|
|555 Timer||RS Components||517-1618||1||£0.34|
|4017 Decade Counter||RS Components||732-0691||1||£0.49|
|1K Resistor||RS Components||707-7666||1||£0.14|
|10K Resistor||RS Components||707-7745||1||£0.14|
|1uF Electrolytic Capacitor||RS Components||475-9009||1||£0.17|
You can download a step-by-step guide to building this project here: Electronic Dice Instructions.pdf
I’ve included two schematics (both generated from Fritzing), an idealised breadboard view, and a schematic diagram.