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Description: The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit (SIK) is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language. The SIK includes everything you need to complete 16 circuits that will teach you how to read sensors, display information on an LCD, drive motors, and more. You don’t need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit.

The full-color SIK Guidebook (included) contains step by step instructions of how to connect each circuit with the included parts. Full example code is provided and explained and even includes troubleshooting tips if something goes wrong.

The kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for beginners ages 10 and up. Version 3.2 of the kit adds a new Simon Says circuit experiment with all the LEDs and tactile buttons you will need to complete it, and a new full-color guidebook.

Circuit Examples:

  • Circuit 1: Blinking an LED
  • Circuit 2: Reading a Potentiometer
  • Circuit 3: Driving and RGB LED
  • Circuit 4: Driving Multiple LEDs
  • Circuit 5: Push Buttons
  • Circuit 6: Reading a Photo Resistor
  • Circuit 7: Reading a Temperature Sensor
  • Circuit 8: Driving a Servo Motor
  • Circuit 9: Using a Flex Sensor
  • Circuit 10: Reading a Soft Potentiometer
  • Circuit 11: Using a Buzzer
  • Circuit 12: Driving a Motor
  • Circuit 13: Using Relays
  • Circuit 14: Using a Shift Register
  • Circuit 15: Using an LCD
  • Circuit 16: Simon Says

Kit includes:

Documents:

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Customer Comments

  • Hi folks!

    The Minnesota CoderDojo group has been using the SparkFun Inventor’s kit for about a year now. We are very happy with the SIK and the instruction booklets that they come with are top-notch. I am starting to write a blog on some the things I have learned and I would like to share experiences with others.

    One of my first findings is that the kids LOVE circuit lab #12 (driving the DC motors) however over time the leads on most of the motors have broken off. I have a post on how to fix them here:

    Motors for Arduino Labs.

    I have also added a new lab that allows the students to change the direction of the motors. This helps them with the future robot labs.

    • Hi Dan - Looks like you’ve got an old blogspot URL there? For those looking for the Motors for Arduino Labs post, check out: http://datadictionary.blogspot.com/2014/10/motors-for-arduino-labs.html the corrected link :)

  • I’d like to suggest an improvement to the SIK: please use 1/4W resistors, not the 1/8W ones as currently. The latter are spindly and often very difficult to insert into the breadboard. The cost to beef up the leads can’t be more than a nickel or a dime. Otherwise, the SIK is very useful, particularly with the updated and improved handbook and code examples. Thanks!

  • Sparkfun I love you, when I thought “SIK” could not be better improve it, will be great to use with students :)

  • Any idea when this item will be back in stock?

  • If you’re interested in coding the examples in JavaScript, I’ve created a GitHub project containing each example written in NodeJS using the johnny-five library. Most examples are identical to the exercise in the SIK guide, however I’ve taken a few liberties.

    The Arduino Experimenter’s Guide for NodeJS is another great resource with similar examples, but is not specific to the SIK guide.

    Join us in the johnny-five chat room!

  • Just got this for Christmas, and it took me a little bit to figure this out: Plugging in the RedBoard is not an optional step when setting up the Arduino IDE. The USB port won’t show up otherwise.

  • So… when the page says “White on Black LCD (with headers)” and “The kit does not require any soldering” AND the pictures for Project #15 appear to show the LCD plugged directly into the breadboard… I expected to get an LCD with headers that I can plug right into my breadboard. But that is not the case. My LCD just has solder pads along the edge. Am I misunderstanding something? Or am I missing headers?

    • You should have headers on that - email techsupport@sparkfun with your order number and they should be able to assist you with getting set up wit the proper screen. Sorry about that!

  • One suggestion for improvement: either supply a slightly narrower screwdriver, or screws with a full-width slot rather than standard phillips. Our students had a really hard time assembling the kits with things as supplied; we had to scrounge up a few phillips drivers to get everything put together.

    Edit: just realized that the screwdriver is actually double ended with a Phillips on the other side. Oops

  • Hi, do you have any idea when stocks will become available again?

  • I second the suggestion of going to ¼ watt resistors. My middle schoolers are fairly heavy handed, and their resistors are looking really sad after 9 weeks of use. I eventually encouraged them to “loosen up” the points on the breadboard with a connector wire before putting in the resistor lead.

    Consider some female connecting wires as well, so you can put a little distance between some of the components and the board. It gets a little crowded to use the flex/softpot/etc while it’s stuck in the breadboard. We’ve also had a heck of a time getting the tactile buttons to stay in the breadboard, even after straightening the legs. One press, and they jump out. Any suggestions before I start soldering headers or hookup wire to them?

    Otherwise, the 3.1 kits have been a real blast for the kids! We’ve explored discrete circuits as well as the Arduino controlled circuits. I’ve added a handful of PIR sensors, ultrasonic rangers, hall effect transistors, and infrared transistors to the classroom shared parts box. Soon, I’m going to order a long neopixel strip and cut it into eight-to-ten light segments, add connectors, signal wire resistor, and large capacitor (1000uf) to make them more kid-proof and go further with these kits!

    • Sounds awesome! Glad you are enjoying the kits, we love to hear customer stories. I will look into upgrading the resistors for the kits though. Personally I hate the 1/6W resistors, so I’m with you on that. As for the buttons we don’t really have any other advice. I know we’ve looked into custom buttons that work better, but keep hitting roadblocks. If you find anything out there let us know.

  • Any release date on this? I’m thinking about investing in the kit but should I wait for this one or go ahead and get V3.1?

    • We are currently out of the V3.1 as well… We are actually out of stock on one of the components. Once we get that in we should be building these in though. Hopefully soon!

  • Bonus points for the references (including picture) to the Nintendo Power Glove. My neighbor had that thing and it was AWESOME (didn’t work worth crap, but that’s not the point. It was awesome)!!

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5

Based on 15 ratings:

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4 of 4 found this helpful:

EXACTLY What I Needed!

I’ve never played with electronics much or micro controllers at all. I keep hearing about all of the wonderful projects people are making using the Arduino for prototyping and I wanted to try for myself. Now I have visions of an electronics workbench in my future, So many things I want to try. This is definitely an excellent kit. Wish you would come out with add on kits for it. Expansion sets would be awesome!


2 of 2 found this helpful:

Pretty Good kit but need more tools for teachers

I am a pretty experienced EE and so for me teaching these circuits is easy. I give some background, draw a few diagrams, and build the circuit in class and then give them some variations to tinker with for homework. That said for other collegues trying to teach anotehr class who aren’t as experienced are clueless as to what they should do or assign that isnt robotically read out of the sik guide, which the students could do by themselves. It would be cool if you made a Teacher kit and instructions and then a separate student kit and instructions. The teacher one could be more expensive too as it is a 1 time buy, and maybe you could drop the price of the student kit which most teachers buy in bulk anyways.


2 of 2 found this helpful:

Great for budding makers

Bought this for my son (11) and he totally loves it. Spent many hours over christmas break making (and breaking) things. Worth the investment.


2 of 2 found this helpful:

Nice variety of components & activities...well written circuit exercises

I am teaching an “Introduction to Arduino Programming” class at one of our local ham radio clubs. We have students of all ages & backgrounds participating in our class. I am using the SparkFun RedBoard as the foundation for the class along with an AdaFruit Touch Shield V2 for the display. I purchased several Inventor’s Kits for the students to use in the various “lessons” that I have prepared for their guided learning. The Kits are especially valuable to me because they contain a nice variety of components. The included Guidebook is an excellent complement to the activities that I am having the students perform in the learning process. Those students who complete my “learning exercises” quickly & easily can further their learning by building the circuits in the Guidebook & learning the concepts presented by these as well. Thank you for assembling and offering the Inventor’s Kits for sale !!


2 of 3 found this helpful:

Inventor's Kit Review

Excellent way to get started with the Arduino.


1 of 2 found this helpful:

SIK in High school microcontroller house

The Inventors Kit is very professionally made. My students are enjoying the projects in their kits. We are on Circuit 4 so far.


0 of 2 found this helpful:

Eager to get started!

This is a Christmas gift for my pre-engineering teen student, and we’ll be looking forward to digging in after it’s unwrapped Christmas morning! Keep up the great work Sparkfun!


Best Thinge i bought from this shop

‘Cus it’s the only one I bought.

But it’s still pretty cool


Still the same crappy buttons...

…when are you going to get breadboard friendly ones?


0 of 1 found this helpful:

Amazing fun

The Kit is a lot of fun and would have given 5 stars if not for malfunctioning RGB led (Green wasn’t lighting up).


0 of 1 found this helpful:

NIceeee !!

… i will use this to teach a high school students !


0 of 2 found this helpful:

Unreadably small print in the book

I’m sure the content is great, but to cram all that content into a relatively small book they used small enough print (often on a grey background) that I find difficult to read even with reading glasses. You’re making me feel old dude…


Best Thinge i bought from this shop

‘Cus it’s the only one I bought.

But it’s still pretty cool


It is for my son.

First, I am thankful the product arrive really quick. It looked complete and in good condition. I am sure it will be enjoyed. Thank you.