Mom and son work on Thimble's Creator Set together.

Jamie and her son, Will, work on Thimble’s Creator Set together.

 

We created Thimble to make engineering and computer science more accessible so that children (ages 10+) have the option to pursue an education or career in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

When you subscribe to a monthly or annual subscription to Thimble, you’re a part of an educational journey. This journey is built on a curriculum that teaches electronics, engineering, and programming through our hands-on kits. The curriculum is broken up into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels; this builds a student’s skill set from ground zero to college-level material within two to three years.

Here are 12 questions and answers to help you learn more about what you can expect from us.

 

Person working on one of the 12 projects in the Creator Set.

The Timer, one of the 12 projects in the Creator Set.

 

So what’s the first project?

The very first project you receive when you sign up to Thimble is the Creator Set. The Creator Set is the “brain” of our curriculum and teaches the fundamentals that are often left uncovered in similar products.

The Creator Set is made up of 12 mini-projects which include:

  • Robot friend                         
  • Clapper                                                     
  • Intruder alarm                               
  • LCD Backlight Disco         
  • Analog Indicator                                                       
  • Simon Says Game 
  • Nightlight
  • Doorbell
  • Thermometer
  • Timer
  • 8-bit Music Composer
  • Music Machine

 

The components of the Creator Set.

All of the components of the Creator Set. We provide everything you need to get you started.

 

What components are in the Creator Set?

The Creator Set includes all the components you need to get started – including an Arduino microcontroller and connectors. Here is what comes inside:

  • Button                                         
  • LED Driver                                   
  • Rotary Potentiometer                
  • Capacitive Touch Sensor          
  • Temperature Sensor                 
  • Sound Sensor                                                                   
  • 3 LEDs                                           
  • Arduino
  • LCD Display
  • Piezo Buzzer
  • Light Sensor
  • Servo
  • Relay
  • Connectors
  • Base Shield
  • USB Cable

How long does it take to finish the Creator Set?

On average, the Creator Set takes 90 minutes to complete. If you get creative and find fun ways to use the components,as many of our subscribers do, the project can take a bit longer. 

Is there set-up involved?

There is some set-up involved which entails installing the Arduino software to your computer and downloading the appropriate libraries (or code) so you can make your finished projects do something fun or useful. Set-up takes about 10-15 minutes.

Are there instructions?

Step-by-step instructions are located on our online learning portal to help build each project from start to finish. You can access the instructions on a phone, tablet, or computer. The instructions are also printer friendly. You can view the portal here.

What if we don’t know how to program?

Have no fear! Thimble was made for beginners. Our tutorials will introduce you to the code needed for each project. We provide examples of what to enter into the Arduino software on your computer.  We will also introduce you to block-based programming which is one of the best ways to learn code.

 

Thimble employee helps students working on the Creator Set.

Working with students from Health Sciences Charter School, our Hardware Engineer helps students with the projects in the Creator Set.

What if I get stuck or need help?

If you get stuck or need help, you can leave a question on our community forum where our team and other Thimblers can help troubleshoot. Emphasis is placed on why components work the way they do; this is a huge part of our philosophy. If you still can’t get help, you can reach us at support@thimble.io. Your learning experience is important to us!

 

Is soldering involved with the Creator Set?

No. Soldering will be introduced at a later point in the curriculum once the student has learned the basics. The Creator Set only includes snap-together components.


What project is delivered after the Creator Set?

After the Creator Set, you’ll receive the Weather Station Kit (Part 1). The Weather Station is made up of a four kit series (Part 1-4) and will be delivered to you during month 2, 3, 4, and 5 of your subscription. You can find more information about the Weather Station here.

Do I have to subscribe?

Not at all. If you’d like to give us a try, you can purchase the Creator Set first to see whether you like the project. You can view the tutorials to some of our future projects to see whether they pique your interest after you’ve built the Creator Set.

However, subscribers are able to regularly receive their kits right to their door, and are able to learn along with the curriculum, making the most of their Thimble experience! 

 

RGB Matrix Arcade Kit, of our past Thimble kits

The RGB Matrix Arcade Kit.

 

What if my child and I are too advanced for the Creator Set and beginner projects?

Thimble’s curriculum will gradually increase in difficulty over time. If you can’t wait for our intermediate and advanced levels to come out, you can find some of the hacker kits that we delivered last year here. These projects include a WiFI light switch, piano synthesizer, RGB video, game controller, and an IMU game.

Did we peak your interest?

Give Thimble a try! Visit here to bring Thimble into your home today, and watch the benefits of regular exposure to STEM grow and enhance your child’s education.

 

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us at team@thimble.io. We respond to every email that comes our way and are always curious to understand the needs of students, parents, and educators around STEM education.