New to the STEM Fields
By Brandon Evans
The circuit scribe is a very popular new kick starter project that is currently obtaining funding for production from the website kickstarter.com. The circuit scribe is a tool in which people can use to literally draw working circuits on paper. It will completely eliminate breadboards and wiring all together once it begins shipping. The ink is a water based conductive ink that writes on substrates like paper. It allows one to create cheap circuits without having to wait for the ink to dry. The Circuit Scribe will encourage students in STEM fields to use the imagination rather than just drawing out a simple and boring circuit on a piece of paper that will never teach them anything about how circuits work outside of the text book.
Unlike the circuits that engineering students might be drawing inside a notebook right now, the circuits they create can become working prototype circuits. Analisa Russo, the inventor of the circuit scribe and the director of the STEM outreach program for Electroniks stated, “The Circuit Scribe has the potential to revolutionize the way circuits are taught in schools. In lieu of stating how the circuit scribe can take the simple circuit from the text book and bring it to life in the imagination, she said, “Circuit Scribe also interfaces with the arduino and makey makey interface boards.” This means that with drawing the circuits, you can go to electronic websites that sell arduino interface chips and boards, you can make anything come to life and have it do anything you want because you literally drew a circuit. The simple becomes the complex in this case. I viewed a YouTube video by Jay Edry, who obtained a Circuit Scribe from Electroninks. What he did with it was astounding. Combined with electronic boards from Makey Makey, he had crafted his own media center board from simple circuits that he had drawn himself. The conductive ink has control of his entire computer media center. The circuits acted as buttons that controlled certain buttons you would have to use a computer mouse to reach. The media board was an easy access, make-shift touch screen.
The best part about the Circuit Scribe and the combination with Makey Makey inventor kits and Arduino microcontrollers, is how non-technical it is. The Circuit Scribe is recommended for individuals of all ages and all fields of study, not just the STEM fields. The CEO of the new company Electroninks has stated that the first prototype has been created and now the project requires funding in order to create the first batch of Circuit Scribe ballpoint pens. Since the funding began, the product gained widespread attention from the general public, which in turn caused them to well exceed the margin line of $85,000 funding money. Currently, they are funded with $442,100 dollars, and have over 8000 backers for the project. They obtained the funding from the people who backed the project.
The people who backed the project get something in return. Kickstarter backers for the Circuit Scribe project who pay a certain monetary amount of money, are able to obtain things like starter kits of circuit scribe pens, basic electronic kits, and developer kits. These kits that come along with the circuit scribe pen are also extremely cheap, with the price ranging from $20 to $100 dollars. What does this mean for MCC students? However if the school did, then it would revolutionize the way the engineering classes are taught here at MCC, as well as other schools. Projects like cheaply made, high quality diagrams would be possible, labs would be more fun, and if the school chooses to make big final projects a thing for engineering students in classes like C++ or electrical engineering then making any type of device and presenting it for a big grade, the circuit scribe would make it easier, and more fun, more thought provoking.