Call me dramatic, but there’s just something about the year 2022 that has me wanting to spend more time at home (I don’t know —maybe it’s related to the surging gas prices, endless COVID variants, and, oh yeah, monkeypox). But I’m also a compulsive class taker and new hobby seeker, which means I have a renewed appreciation for remote learning. That’s why I was so amped to discover Creation Crate, the geeky subscription service that brings STEM instruction right into your home through accessible projects.
How do Creation Crate courses work?
While the term “course” is a triggering one for me that prompts thoughts of overbearing workloads, crushing deadlines, and a constant fear of falling behind, a Creation Crate subscription involves exactly none of these things. You have the flexibility to take things completely at your own pace, and you have plenty of resources and instruction to guide you along the way (plus there’s no one to pass or fail you at the end of it).
Each course consists of a set number of projects and includes all the materials you need, plus access to comprehensive educational videos. In its earlier days, Creation Crate solely focused on electronics, with each project developed by Creation Crate founder Chris Gatbonton, according to an interview with startups.com. Gatbonton explained that his lack of preexisting experience in electronics allowed him to understand what it feels like to approach the task as a beginner and, as a result, create a curriculum that’s digestible for every skill level.
Most courses offer different subscription models, with the ability to pause or cancel at any point. Once you’ve figured out which course you’re into (for me, it’s all of them), the next step is choosing the subscription plan that’s right for your needs. The options vary by course — for some you can pay on a monthly or quarterly basis, or pay a discounted price upfront to receive the full program at once.
In addition to courses in electronics and chemistry, Creation Crate recently added an engineering section to the offerings. While the courses are challenging enough for adults, they were designed to be kid-friendly (because STEM education should be within reach for everyone). All of the courses are recommended for ages 10 or 12 and up, but some are suitable for kids as young as 8 with adult supervision. That means Creation Crate makes a genius gift for anyone looking to earn extra points as the cool uncle/aunt/parent/older sibling/etc.
Also, the prices are way more reasonable than you would think for all-inclusive STEM learning, with options that start at just $40.
What courses does Creation Crate offer?
Creation Crate’s newest addition, the Engineering Course is perfect for those who just want to dip a toe into STEM education. It includes one project broken down into digestible parts. With this, you’ll build an interactive mech leg, learning the basics of hydraulics and mech movements along the way. This three-part course is available through two different models: a monthly subscription for three months or everything upfront at a deeply discounted rate.
Recommended ages: 10 and up
Included projects: bio-mechanically controlled mesh leg (3-part project)
Perhaps Creation Crate’s most immersive option, the Chemistry Course features up to 20 projects. You can pay monthly to get one project at a time or pay a discounted price upfront to get them all at once. If you find you can’t keep up with all of the projects, you can easily pause or cancel your subscription.
Recommended ages: 10 years and up
Included projects: flame test, burning magnesium, lemon battery, chemical frost, oxygen burning, zinc carbon battery, food starch identifier, and more
Similarly vast, the Electronics Course consists of up to 18 projects and three different subscription tiers (one project per month, three projects per quarter, or all 18 projects at once if you’re feeling bold). Creation Crate also offers a collection of “Challenger Projects,” which consist of more advanced single projects like a “roverbot,” a Bluetooth speaker, and a digital clock (Creation Crate recommends completing at least a couple of the regular electronics projects before trying to tackle one of these).
Recommended ages: 12 and up
Included projects: Mood lamp, interactive memory game, sound wave distance detector, 2-player reflex game, weather station, lock box, audio visualizer, LED dice game, strength game, infrared security system, alarm clock, FM tuner, and more
Check out the Creation Crate site for more details on each course, plus cool videos about some of the projects you can make.
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