The collection of discarded and non-working gadgets has been growing so the boys and I gathered some of them together to do some creative deconstruction. We pulled up chairs to the work bench, gathered some screw drivers and other tools, and set about taking apart and exploring the old electronics. Primo took the screws out of a pair of computer speakers that no longer had any connection between the volume they put out and the position of the knob meant to adjust the sound. We cut the wires connecting the power supply to the circuit board and I had the boys tell me how they thought it worked. I’m not much of a flesh and bones techie but that didn’t really matter. We weren’t try to reverse engineer anything, rather we wanted to explore through destruction. We wanted to take apart the items on our table and see if we could put them back together if we needed to. Once we talked about how the speakers worked the boys started pulling off the transistors and capacitors with pliers.
Sometime down the road we will try to build simple machines but I want to get the boys correctly using tools and having fun taking things a part to see how they work. The more we take a part the more we see how similar things are inside and how the differences determine how the electronics work. I don’t know if they’ll catch the engineering bug like their Grandpa Tom Tom but I hope they will have a healthy knowledge of how things work and to fix the things they can. I also hope that they will see the art and creativity in how things are put together and how they come apart.