Don’t forget your soldering challenge!

Don’t forget your soldering challenge!

It’s Lucas again, our poster child for the MAKEcation Family Soldering Challenge. Here he is (note: safety glasses this time!) working on his second soldering project, a Drawdio. Lucas (and family) get a free Maker’s Notebook because they posted pics of their MAKEcation to the MAKE Flickr pool. The next four people who post their pics will also get a free notebook.

solderingMeritBadges.jpgAnd don’t forget, we’re giving away a $100 gift certificate to the Maker Shed for our favorite family soldering photos/videos and five Best of MAKE or Best of Instructables books. Adafruit industries has also generously given us some of their awesome soldering merit badges to give out to winners. But you’ve gotta upload your pics!


18 thoughts on “Don’t forget your soldering challenge!

  1. says:

    I finally decided to teach my daughter the basics of soldering. I figured I’d lectured her on the dangers of the soldering iron enough to show how it is used. (This of course didn’t keep me from reiterating the lecture throughout the lesson.)

    She sure was excited to be trusted with it, even if it wasn’t turned on. (C’mon, she’s three!) I was pretty pleased to hear her squeal with excitement, “Daddy, I did it!” She was acceptably steady and seemed to get the point. Turns out it is hard to show a 3yr old that heat takes some time to transfer without actually using heat. She likes to watch while I play with these things and ask lots of questions. Getting to actually be involved was apparently a real treat.

  2. Gareth Branwyn says:

    We want pictures!

    Okay, so so far, we’ve taught a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old how to solder. Anybody else? Is there an infant in the house who knows how to build a Minty Boost?

    1. brad says:

      I always knew the boy was destined to be famous.

      How do we get the notebook? He starts first grade in a few weeks and I can think of no finer notebook for him to bring to class. This lets him live up to his rep – we brought the home snowmaker to kindergarten last winter.


      1. Gareth Branwyn says:

        Email sent.

  3. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Hah, Josiah — just saw your tweet and link to pics. Awesome.

    1. says:

      Yeah, it really was a lot of fun, totally recommend it.

  4. qubix says:

    I ran a soldering workshop last week in Dublin. Was great fun, we soldered some RGB Trippy kits we got from the maker shed, really nice to work with and loads of different soldering challenges. We had no children in the group but we did have a wonderful slightly more mature lady showing off her mad soldering skillz :)

  5. Brig says:

    I’ve done lots of household repairs that require soldering and my boys are always curious about all the electrical components, and my 9 year old just bought a snap circuits kit from his allowance and has made about a million mini-projects, so I figured that the time was right for a little soldering lesson.

    I dug out my box o’ components and pulled together a 2 character LED display and a 6 position switch, and we’re making various sections light up at different switch positions.

    When I put my son to bed, he thanked me for soldering with him, told me that it was “way cool,” and asked if we could do more tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration, Make!

  6. Thomas says:

    I just now noticed that there were comments on this page. Nice to read the discussion.

    I’ll join Josiah in thanking MAKE for the encouragement. My son and I have been engrossed in rocketry & robotics and now electronics for going on a year. But it wouldn’t have occurred to me to let him solder anytime soon without the prompting from Teach Your Family To Solder Week.

    That, and Gever Tulley’s TED talk:

    I posted a photo in the MAKE flickr pool last week (as “tbeckett”) of “Kidrocket” soldering a pair of transistors together for a BEAM bot solar engine circuit. Shortly after that was taken he got a little burn and I thought that would be it for soldering for a few years.

    But tonight with just a little coaxing he was back at it. The “Wee Blinky” circuit kit we obtained from MakerShed made the process a little easier. He and I alternated soldering joints and finished it up in no time. His excitement and satisfaction when the blinker came on was priceless to see. He is more educated and empowered today than he was ten days ago.


    Thanks for your part in that.

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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. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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