Mellow Mummy: Technology Will Save Us - a DIY Thirsty Plant Kit : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Technology Will Save Us - a DIY Thirsty Plant Kit

Lara has really discovered the joys of science in the past few weeks.  As a family we have made volcanoes, simulated shadows and explained the solar eclipse.  This week has been British Science Week so we have been eager to encourage this new-found interest for Lara and what better way than with a hands-on science kit from Technology Will Save Us?

This week, during the evenings, Lara, Holly and Daddy have been building their own DIY Thirsty Plan Kit.  This is a hands-on electronics project for children to build themselves.  It is designed for children aged 10 upwards because it has some small fiddly pieces to construct but Lara and Daddy built it together (with a little assistance from Holly!).  

The kit provides everything you need to make a solar-powered moisture sensor which will alert you when your house plant needs watering.  Lara thought this was really clever and couldn't wait to get started.  The little kit contained all of the materials and electronic components and the instructions can be found online.  First up, the girls mixed a plaster of paris concoction which is used to create the sensor with a pair of nails.  Then you twist the wires and LEDs to build the circuit.  There isn't any soldering required (much to Mr. B's disappointment!)

Testing out her circuit!

I thought this DIY Thirsty Plant Kit was a good introduction to electronics, though perhaps not as a child's very first experience of circuits which I think probably requires something a bit more immediate like a switch or a buzzer to explain the concept of basic electrical circuits.  But, armed with the basic skills and experience for creating a sensor can be the beginning of a fascinating science journey for older, eager minds and its great to see that Technology Will Save Us provide little tempting snippets to try and encourage this thought process about what you might do next once you've built your first sensor... perhaps you might wire it up to a twitter account to tell the world when your plant needs watering?!

Our sensor is now taking care of my prize chilli seedling!

You can find out more about Technology Will Save Us (as a child, parent or teacher) over at
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