This page contains answers to common questions from Supercharged Science families. Feel free to Contact Us if your question isn’t addressed here.
Q: Can I use a Raspberry Pi computer for the coding class?
A: No, a Raspberry Pi won’t work for this class. Raspberry Pi computers are very different from the Arduino Uno R3.
Q: I already have an Arduino board. May I use that one?
A: As long as you have an Arduino Uno R3, feel free to use it. But each model of Arduino is slightly different. If you don’t have an Uno R3, you won’t be able to follow along.
Q: Can I order kits if I live outside the United States?
A: Yes, FutureVision Research ships internationally, but only to countries with Supercharged Science families. If you aren’t seeing shipping options during checkout, please Contact Us.
Q: Will students be able to watch recordings of Brian’s classes?
A: Yes, all of Brian’s classes are recorded and available by the following morning. In fact, archives of Brian’s classes from previous school years are also available. The course “Electronics with Brian” is available under Unit 25. The course “Coding the Arduino with Brian” is under Unit 28.
Q: Will the electronic parts in the Diamond program work for Brian’s classes?
A: No, most of the parts in the Diamond program won’t work with Brian’s classes. They are intended for other lessons. In order to have the right parts, you can order Brian’s kits (plus an Arduino if taking that class), or buy individual parts using the appropriate shopping list. Unit 25 has the shopping list for “Electronics with Brian” and Unit 28 has the shopping list for “Coding the Arduino with Brian”.
Q: Can I buy a kit from Amazon and use it with Brian’s classes?
A: No, there aren’t any kits on Amazon that provide the proper set of parts. In order to have the right parts, you can order Brian’s kits (plus an Arduino if taking that class), or buy individual parts using the appropriate shopping list. Unit 25 has the shopping list for “Electronics with Brian” and Unit 28 has the shopping list for “Coding the Arduino with Brian”.
Q: Will students have to use a hot soldering iron?
A: Neither “Electronics with Brian” or “Coding the Arduino with Brian” contain any soldering projects. There will be a separate soldering project in 2024, but that will be scheduled separately.
Q: What is the starting age for Brian’s classes?
A: We’ve had students as young as seven join Brian’s electronics classes. However, students younger than 12 often need more direct supervision and help during class.
Q: I saw a notice that many electronic parts contain lead. Is that safe?
A: The risk of handling electronic parts is negligible when proper precautions are followed. According to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, risks from lead occur mainly from putting substances in the mouth, not from touching the skin. We advise children to never put parts in their mouth, never to eat while working with electronics and to wash their hands with soap and water before doing anything else. All of us who work with electronics follow these guidelines.