(Phys.org) —Adafruit, a company founded in 2005 by engineer Limor Fried, has begun offering a free educational program for children on YouTube. It's called Circuit Playground and the aim is to teach children the basics of how electricity works—it will follow an alphabetical approach—the first episode is called "A is for Ampere."
Fried (the first female engineer to appear on the cover of Wired magazine) states on her website that her goal for Adafruit is to create the best possible place online for those seeking to learn more about how electronics work and then to make and offer the best electronic products for people of all ages and knowledge levels to help them in their efforts. She appears in the video series as LadyAda (a nod to both computer programming pioneer Ada Lovelace and popular entertainer Lady Gaga), along with other puppet characters that represent different electronic components. As she explains to the puppets how different aspects of electricity work, those watching learn too. In the inaugural video, LadyAda explains to a character called Adabot what an ampere is (and gets some help from a stand-in for André-Marie Ampère himself) and why it's important in electronics. She also uses real-world examples of whatever she's talking about, in action—turning on a boom-box for example. The video is short, just shy of four minutes, which means little ones watching won't have to focus very long.
Fried, also Entrepreneur magazine's Entrepreneur of the year for 2012, oversees 45 employees in her business located in New York City. Her aim and that of her company, is to promote learning—specifically, to help people understand how electricity works. With the introduction of Circuit Playground, the goal is to instill a sense of understanding in children about the basic principles of electricity and how it's used in electronic products—it's for children who are still too young to learn by doing, which is the essence of her business—selling kits that people can use to build electronic products and in so doing, learn how electricity works. Fried is careful to avoid patronizing those who watch the video and for that reason, it (and presumably the rest in the series) can be viewed by adults as well who wish to learn a little something themselves.
Next up for Circuit Playground, is "B is for Battery."
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More information: www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/04/02/circuit-playground-a-is-for-ampere-episode-1/