Looking for an elective for homeschool? How about one dealing with electronics? If you have a gamer, science geek, and/or tinkerer in your household, then KitHub makes a great choice for your homeschool.
Even if your child is none of the above, these kits could pique their interest in technology and the sciences.
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The Hydrophone by KitHub
I was recently approached by KitHub to review this product. Having two pre-teen boys who love their electronics, naturally, I said yes.
I also agreed because I am always on the lookout for creative and unique electives to change up their curriculum.
This week we received one of Kithub’s environmental monitoring kits: the hydrophone. It’s basically an underwater microphone that lets you hear various underwater activities.
The boys were all over this. As we were putting it together, they were dreaming up of places to use it: backyard pool, bathtub, creek, and even the ditch outside our home that is home to tadpoles, frogs, toads, and sometimes ducks if the water is high enough.
After unpacking our kit, we read through our guide first. This guide explains what a hydrophone is and what it does. What I liked what that it lists all the various places and different mediums you can use it in.
This is great if you don’t live near some sort of waterway. One can actually place it in a glass of soda or even a fish tank. There are also ‘dry’ alternatives as well.
After reading through the guide, we got to work. The only thing we needed that was not provided in the kit was a wrench, a paper clip, scissors, and a small cardboard box, things we easily had on hand.
The best part was that I didn’t have to cut and splice the speaker wires. It was already done for us.
Putting the Kithub Hydrophone Together
Putting the hydrophone together took approximately 5 minutes and another 20 minutes just waiting for the epoxy to dry.
During the sound test, the boys were impressed by how sensitive those small Piezo elements were to touch as they emitted sound through the amplifier.
Finally, it was time to seal the pieces in epoxy to make it waterproof. As the guide suggests, we cut a hole in a cardboard box where we could feed the pipe bushing into it in order to steady it.
In less than 30 minutes, we had put together our hydrophone. It was really that simple. *note: if you have young children, it is advised that an adult handle the epoxy part of this kit.
The Fun Part
The next day we headed to our local park that sits along a creek and tried out our hydrophone.
I have to say that the stereo cord was very lengthy. Not only were we able to submerge into the water from the pier but we were also able to cast it out a little further in hopes of finding a suitable spot for it.
Ok, so we did not get too much of anything…but to our credit, we had just arrived at the pier when a small motorboat had just pulled out. Probably frightened all the fish away.
But that was okay because there were other activities we could do with the hydrophone. We opted to try the soda activity.
Become a Citizen Scientist
By the way, if you are interested, your child can become a citizen scientist by recording the sounds from the amplifier and uploading them to Soundcloud where others can hear and better understand the environment.
I think this is an awesome way to take part in and contribute to environmental science communities around the world. I can already imagine my boys boasting about being citizen scientists.
We had fun trying these experiments and now we are waiting for a good downpour of rain so that we can take it out to our ditch.
In the meantime, we will be testing it in the bathtub, our pool (to see if it has any leaks), and even burying it underground to see if we hear ants or perhaps a burrowing animal. The activities are endless.
Where Can I Get My KitHub Kits?
Click here and visit Kithub’s site and look through their catalog of kits. They have a selection of environmental kits, as well as STEAM (science, technology, electronics, arts, mathematics) kits.
Many of these kits come with lesson plans so that you can fit them into your curriculum whether you homeschool or teach a class. Right now, we have our eye on the Future Engineer Kit which comes with a toolbox and 3 different activities.
Want another science-related elective? Click here to read about EEME.
If you have any questions or comments about the hydrophone kit, be sure to enter them in the comment box below. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
Want to get your middle schooler organized? Click here to get a free student planner.
Need a homework station for your child? Click here to put one together and get your kid organized for school.
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