SparkFun Inventor's Kit Lab Pack V3.2

The SparkFun Inventor's Kit LabPack includes 10 complete Inventor's Kits and 2 SIK refill packs. The kit has everything you need including RedBoards, base plates, breadboards and kit guides. Each SIK also 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.

SparkFun packages everything educators need to get started with this platform in a number of varieties that fit different classroom settings and populations. The hardware boards, cables, and extra parts come pre-packaged. Examples and curriculum material are available from SparkFun and Arduino as well as from other educators involved in this growing educational movement.

The LabPacks are SparkFun's classroom entry point. By combining our ProtoSnap, LilyPad, SparkFun Inventors Kits or Arduino Compatible through-hole soldering kits with support materials SparkFun brings all the power of the open-source community to the classroom.

The Arduino programming environment is a free download making getting started as simple as opening your kits, opening a programming window on your computer, and loading example code to the microcontroller. Arduino is a model for the open source movement. All the basics in this C-based language are laid out in simple examples that students, teachers, and parents can understand and work with right from the start by accessing the example files in the programming environment. The community support offered by Arduino is second to none. Hundreds of examples of code are available for free online, and wiring examples for hardware are equally as easy to find. The Arduino hardware and software are C-based, and because of this they are easy to link to internet-based applications and common programs such as Excel, Matlab, LabView, and even POP3 mail applications. Also, Arduino has a free companion language, Processing, which gives users the ability to create very friendly interfaces that can graph, create gaming options, and do a dizzying amount of data visualization.

Each LabPack Includes:

SparkFun Inventor's Kit Lab Pack V3.2 Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Robotics

This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.

1 Robotics

Skill Level: Noob - You will be required to put together a robotics kit. Necessary parts are included and steps will be easy to follow. You also might encounter basic robotics components like bearings, mounts, or other hardware and need a general idea of how it goes together.
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Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #138575 / about 10 years ago / 5

    Just a question about $1100, 10x of the SIK at full retail (no discount) is $995 + 2x refill kit at $25 is still only $1045. Shouldn't this come with more kits or be cheaper?

    • Member #436136 / about 10 years ago / 4

      Oh, yes, well this kit is designed for those with poor math skills.

      • M-Short / about 10 years ago / 1

        Close, this kit is designed for educators who get an additional discount. For those of you who are not educators you can still buy the SIKs and refill kits separately. In other words, leave these for the educators.

        • Member #436136 / about 10 years ago / 2

          But wouldn't educators still be better off buying the individual SIKs and getting their discount on those? Oh, you mean common core teachers! Sorry.

          • M-Short / about 10 years ago / 1

            Maybe discount is the wrong word since it implies a fixed percentage over the entire catalog. In this case its special pricing, not just the standard educator discount. Hope this makes more sense.

            • Member #597709 / about 10 years ago / 1

              I don't get it either. What drew me in to considering SF for sourcing kits for our afterschool program was positive feedback from an individual with an Inventors Kit, and the discounted/bulk pricing. $1250 for 20 kits in old SKU was a great deal. Now for 1100 it's 10 kits/2 refills. Not only do you no longer get a educator discount, but you're paying more than what 10 individual IK+2 RK cost.

              • M-Short / about 10 years ago / 2

                With an educator account you are getting educator pricing which is actually more than the standard 20% off. Unfortunately with the old pricing structure we had resellers buying all the stock because it was cheaper for them. With the new pricing structure it now only makes sense for educators. If you have any other pricing questions please email and our educator services can help you out.

                • Skerpy_D / about 10 years ago / 1

                  How do you make an educator account?

                  • Member #548477 / about 10 years ago / 1

                    quote from M-Short above: "If you have any other pricing questions please email and our educator services can help you out."

  • Member #630813 / about 9 years ago / 1

    Any recommendations of other accessories to purchase for these kits? My students are flying through these, so I would love to get some opportunities to expand beyond the original circuits.

  • Member #621429 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I do not think you answered the original poster. The price for this is more than the price for the individual kits together in the non-educator's section. What are we missing?

    • M-Short / about 10 years ago / 1

      Correct. This kit is designed for educators. With regular customer pricing it doesn't make sense to buy this. If you had an educator account you would see different pricing which would make sense.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5

Based on 7 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Fun Hands-On Learning, Not Much Depth

I've been using the SparkFun Inventors Kits in my classroom for a few weeks and it has been a huge success. Both my students and I are enjoying working with the kits and learning more about electronics and circuitry. I am getting engagement from all of my students, including those who have displayed disinterest in previous classes with me.

The place where my major complaint lies is the lack of depth in the exercises in the accompanying book. While the circuits accomplish the goal of getting students hands-on with electronic hardware, the lack of depth frequently has my students flying through multiple circuits in a single class period. I would love to see supplemental instruction built around each circuit, including both some electronics/circuitry lessons, as well as some lessons in programming with this board.

I have been pushing my students to take circuits beyond their original design and have been trying to guide my students to understand the programs that are running each circuit, which I think they are beginning to find rewarding. It seems a shame that they are sort of designed to just plug n' play, rather than providing the full hardware and software view of computers.

That being said, these boards have still been a fun learning opportunity.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Very good starting place

Nice variety of stuff that leads to a nice variety of different projects that are VERY well documented!!

My class is really having a good time with their Inventor's Kits!!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Everything I expected!

I ordered a class set of these. The kits were well put together and the manual that was included is pretty good.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

perfect for students introduction

Easy to handle and well documented excercises for self-educational homework for undergraduate classes in embedded systems.

Awesome tool for introducing micro-controllers

The student's really got into the examples. There is something for every level of experiance. Right away they began to collage inputs and outputs. This is a great tool for any design, engineering, computer classroom.

Excellent starter kit

The SparkFun Inventor's Kit is a great way to learn about many of the basic electronic components that Arduino can be programmed with. It is an excellent starter kit for a novice educator wanting a complete package to use with students and it also comes with a tutorial booklet (experiment guide). The refill packs are a great bonus also. But beware: anyone wishing to buy spare LCDs for this kit must know that it does not come with pins; they need to be bought separately. This was the only unwelcome downside.