Recently I’ve been helping a friend’s 11-year-old daughter get started in electronics. The use of a solderless breadboard was counterintuitive to her until I gave her one of these clear-cased versions, available through Solarbotics. As she puts it, “you can see where the metal is.”

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • StayatHomeElectronics

    That’s great! You have found a tool that will make learning easier and more enjoyable for her.

    I think we should all take someone under our wing and show them how interesting and fun building stuff is, whether it is electronics, something mechanical, art, a sweater or whatever.

    Maybe you could start a Mentor-a-Maker program… wait, maybe I should start a Mentor-a-Maker program… :-)

  • Becky Stern

    Hah, I love it. You CAN see where the metal is!

  • Apis

    This is great, they should all be transparent. I remember first time I got one and was trying to figure out “where the metal is”. :)

    • Daniel Morgan

      Awesome. I’m ordering one of these for myself. Thanks Sean.

    • AndyL

      More than once I’ve been frustrated by a solderless breadboard that looked similar to one I was familiar with but had very subtly different configuration.

      Especially the power and ground rails.

  • Rob Cruickshank

    I spend a lot of time with people who’ve never seen a breadboard before, and when I saw those for the first time, I was thrilled. Breadboarding is easy, once you get the hang of it, but it’s hardly intuitive. People vary considerably in the time that it takes them to “get it”.

  • Solarbotics

    This is very timely! We had an instructable just about ready to go where we add power-indicator LEDs into the body of this breadboard. Just released it now:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Bling-out-your-Breadboard-how-to-add-LED-power-in/

    Enjoy!

    Regards,
    Dave