Meet Nicolas - possibly the youngest SparkFun customer


On our trips out to various Maker Faires, we've seen some pretty young kids go through our soldering classes. It is always a bit heartwarming to see a child take an interest in the things we are so passionate about. It's also amazing to see youngsters under the age of five assemble an electronics kit - I'm pretty sure at five I was busy eating Play-Doh and throwing sand at girls, not learning the basics of embedded electronics

What is the point of this rambling monologue? Well, meet Nicolas, 3.5 years old - possibly SparkFun's youngest customer.

Nicolas' father, Santiago, started by soldering some cables to three basic components (an LED, a switch, and a battery holder). After explaining that each part had two cables, Santiago asked Nicolas to draw a diagram of how to connect the parts - his first "schematic." Check it out!


The first schematic - a right of passage in any young man's life.

Then, Nicolas used scotch tape to piece the components together. When he flipped the switch and the light didn't power on, he debugged the problem with a simple proclamation - "Dada, there are no batteries!" Forgetting batteries? This kid is an engineer in the making.


This kid's future is bright (pun intended).

And there you have it - Nicolas with his very own flashlight inside a very spiffy "custom enclosure." Awesome work Nicolas! While we're at it, we should also mention his father's project - the Bluetooth Ericofon.


50s design work is awesome, even if it is a little strange.

Check out that nifty piece of retro hardware! This is Santiago's Bluetooth Ericofon. It works very similarly to our Bluetooth Port-O-Rotary phone that allows you to connect an old-school handset to your cellphone. This one, however, is built inside the resoundingly cool 1950s Ericofon. For more information about his project (or to buy one of your own), visit Santiago's website.


Comments 18 comments

  • Doctor: “It’s worse than I feared."
    Mother: "What is it?"
    Doctor: "I’m afraid your son has … the Knack."
    Mother: "The knack?"
    Doctor: "The Knack. It’s a rare condition characterized by an extreme intuition about all things mechanical and electrical … and utter social ineptitude."
    Mother: "Can he lead a normal life?"
    Doctor: "No. He’ll be an engineer."
    Mother: "Oh, no! [crying]"
    Doctor: "There, there. Don’t blame yourself.”

  • Bright future,
    He has it.
    I started at around 7 myself, though no one taught me anything, learned it all from experience of prying stuff open :D

  • What a show off!
    =)

  • That’s excellent! Congrats to Nicolas and his papa Santiago! Keep teaching! Our kids literally ARE the future.
    I’ve very proud of my son Malachi assembling and soldering this entire kit at 5 years old:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0rmOVbRv4U

  • I remember when I was his age. I took apart all my Christmas and birthday presents to see the electronics inside. I only wish someone taught me how to actually make electronics at his age.

  • My son draws batteries pretty much the same way in his schematics, the only difference being that he draws a rectagle around them to represent an enclosure!
    Maybe that’s the standard for for kids this age…

  • I like eating Play-Doh too!

  • Damn. That kid beat me by half a year :<
    I wonder if he’ll still be into it by 14 like me though =p

  • I remember the days of cardboard boxes and simple electronics! They were good…
    And old fashioned phones… I had fun with the guts of a few of them too :D
    Ingredients:
    1x 9v Battery
    1x Microphone (from old fashioned phone)
    1x Speaker (from old fashioned phone)
    3x Wire
    Wire them up in a big circle and you have a simple (and VERY crude) 1 way intercom! Take 2 old fashioned phones and you have a 2 way intercom!
    Looking back I think I blew one or both of the mic and speaker as it didn’t work for very long :(
    I also never understood why they designed it so that dialling the emergency services (999 in the UK) took nearly the longest possible time! Doh!
    Also that Dilbert scene is brilliant :D

    • Yeah, good times. When my friends figured out how to do it too I still managed to outsmart them by figuring out how to do a 2 way intercom with only 3 wires, it was also the time I discovered how awesome the ground wire is!

  • At 3 ½ I was still filling my diapers and typing useless stuff into Windows XP (I’m only 12 years old now! :) ). And people thought I was young when I started wiring resistors to leds at 9… HAH! Man, my kids are going to be just like him!

  • I’m confused about the “bomb” in the upper left of the schematic.

    • Ah, yes - that’s “bombillo,” Spanish for light bulb. I didn’t mention this pair is from Spain.

      • Thanks Emcee for clarifying that Bombillo is lightbulb in Spanish. :) Actually, I am from Colombia (South America) and my son was born here in California, where we live. :)

        • Wow. My reply = epic fail! Thanks for clarifying…I don’t know why I had it in my head you were from Spain! Anyway, awesome project - both to you and your son!

  • I particulary like the S of switch.


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