MAKE contributor Blake Maloof was one of the workshop teachers.

Here I am showing a young fairgoer how to build the blinky circuit.

This year at World Maker Faire, we put together a Breadboarding Workshop to act as a companion to our popular Learn to Solder activity. For a test run, it was a great success. We taught over 80 people how to use a breadboard and to build a fun blinky light circuit on the board. Many of the participants were children.

We had cartoonist Jody Culkin create a comic that explains breadboarding and two that detailed our circuit build. Several people just bought the parts bundle or weren’t able to finish their circuit at the event. For you all, below are the PDFs from the workshop. If you want to do the workshop at home, we were using the guts from our Mintronics Survival Pack Guts which are available in the Maker Shed.

What is Breadboarding? [PDF]
Build a Blinky Circuit! [PDF]
Blinky Circuit Top View [PDF]

Special thanks to Jody for the art (and being a workshop teacher) and to Sean Ragan for the circuit and a lot of the workshop organizing (and tireless teaching).

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy person’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

  • kosamari (@kosamari)

    Nice Documents!
    What would be the license of these PDFs?
    My dad runs Breadboarding Workshop in Tokyo, and I would love to translate this to Japanese for class…

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  • Confused?

    Wonder what Mr. Mimms was thinking with the transistor output?! Using the NPN to short the LED seems like he wants to kill the battery quickly (read; very inefficient – and unnecessary).

    Drive the LED directly (with a limiting resistor, of course) as the 555 can sink or source up to 200mA.

    • Sean Ragan

      Yup! That’s change #1 for the next workshop.

  • Pingback: Comics on Make site Now | Jody Culkin()

  • Reidh

    Again? its really not necessary to teach little kids how to solder, when Chinese girls can solder circles around us all. And between wire winding and plug together components, bread boarding can be done by 5 yr olds. Teach them component circuitry or order of operation in circuit, and electronic theory. don’t bother with something that nanobots are going to be doing by the time those kids grow up.

    • Gary Stager, Ph.D. (@garystager)

      What you say may be true, but the only experience more magical for kids than soldering is developing black and white film.

  • Marc Edwards

    Dear Gareth,

    We will be doing workshops on the Arduino and we really like your worksheets. Please could you let us know what software you used so that we could make similar ones for our workshops?


    Marc Edwards, Bangor, Wales, UK

    • http:/// Jaymes Dec


      The artist who made the comics is Jody Culkin. I think she uses Illustrator to do her comics! But you could try Comic Life. Good luck! And please share your results! I do a lot of Arduino workshops too.

      Jaymes Dec

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  • 45_grave

    breadboards rule

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