SparkFun Electronics, a provider of parts, knowledge and passion for electronics creation, is embarking upon a nationwide education tour in 2013 and is leveraging the power of the popular Kickstarter fundraising platform to secure funding for the initiative.
SparkFun's Kickstarter campaign runs Tuesday, November 20, to Wednesday, December 19, with a goal of raising at least $150,000 necessary for covering the cost of transportation, equipment and staff for the company's 50-state education tour. SparkFun's Department of Education looks to build upon the success of two coastal education tours it conducted in 2012 by continuing to ignite the passion for learning, playing and creating in learning centers across the U.S.
The tour will bring a mobile education unit to every state in the nation to provide training, tools and information to both educators and their students. SparkFun's Department of Education will provide highly-trained instructors and a full-day class, as well as donate a special edition SparkFun Inventor's Kit Lab Pack -- $1,250 worth of tools, curriculum and equipment -- to facilitate access to electronics education within schools at every skill level.
The tour will provide teachers nationwide with the ability to introduce current, relevant technology and programming concepts into their classrooms. SparkFun hopes that by providing access to these tools, interest and education in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) will improve in all age groups.
SparkFun Electronics is founded on a core idea of sharing ingenuity. Utilizing Kickstarter in a new way - to promote a way of thinking as opposed to a product - will provide an avenue to spread the company's embodiment of the open source ideology, and its leaders' passion for education.
"The thing we didn't expect from teaching is that it's not a one-way street; the 'Wow!' moment goes both ways," said SparkFun CEO Nathan Seidle. "We see students' minds blown time and time again, and we get utter joy from it. We are slightly addicted to that moment when the light bulb turns on for someone."
More information on the national tour and the Kickstarter campaign can be found on the company's site (http://www.sparkfun.com/news/1009) or through the campaign's Kickstarter page (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2112812006/sparkfun-national-tour).
About SparkFun Electronics
Founded in 2003, SparkFun shares its passion by providing parts, knowledge, and innovation for those looking to explore the world of embedded electronics. It helps anyone discover their inner inventor and enables individuals to create their own electronics projects.
SparkFun currently offers more than 1,800 products, ranging from simple components, like capacitors and resistors, to GPS units and Bluetooth modules. The company employs 135 people and is based in Boulder, Colorado.