This is an interview with Joshua Zimmerman, the founder of Brown Dog Gadgets. Brown Dog Gadgets sells inexpensive so-called make-and-take projects that kids can take home once they are finished with their classroom activities.
Joshua is the founder of Brown Dog Gadgets in Brookfield, Wisconsin, USA. Originally a middle school teacher, Joshua found it very annoying as a teacher that all the fun science activities his students were doing had to be disassembled at the end of each class. This is pretty much how Brown Dog Gadgets came to be.
Images: (c) Brown Dog Gadgets – used with permission
As quickly mentioned, Brown Dog Gadgets specializes in ‘make and take’ projects – these are things that kids create in the classroom and then can take home when finished. This is opposite to most other edtech companies in the United States – most of them sell more expensive kits which are disassembled at the end of a project and then stay at school.
The benefit of course is that kids can take ownership of their projects and will be more motivated and enthusiastic about their project. Also, kids take home their projects to their families and friends and thereby learn and share the knowledge they acquired even more.
Brown Dog Gadgets also developed a line of modular Electronics called Crazy Circuits. Again being a low-cost system, it is expandable and compatible with Lego blocks. In combination with conductive tape, students can work on simple circuit-board-like projects which are fun, easy to build and easy to troubleshoot.