I recommend the Adafruit ARDX Kit (you can get this from Adafruit or at Tinkersphere) or the Arduino Starter Kit to get started, though you will need to purchase additional materials and tools. Below is the full list. Also be sure to find a sturdy carrying case!


  • Arduino UNO Board
  • Half or Full Size Breadboard
  • Jumper Wires OR 22 gauge solid-core wire and wire strippers
  • Arduino USB Cable
  • Arduino 9V Battery Clip
  • 9V batteries
  • Alligator clips
  • 20-40 LEDs. Choose different colors, sizes (3mm, 5mm, 10mm), diffusions, and viewing angles.
  • 2-5 5mm diffused tri-color (RGB) LED
  • Toy DC Motor
  • Mini Servo Motor
  • Vibration motor
  • 8 Bit Shift Register (74HC595)
  • 1 H-bridge motor driver [L293D]
  • 8 Ohm speaker or piezo
  • 4-6 switches/pushbuttons. Try to choose different sizes, colors, etc to test different affordances.
  • 3-4 10K potentiometers. Try to choose different sizes, colors, etc to test different affordances.
  • Photoresistor
  • 2-3 other analog sensors based on your interest (NOTE: you do NOT need to get all of these):
    • SEE: PIR Motion Sensor, Infrared Proximity Sensor, Ultrasonic Range Finder, Color sensor
    • LISTEN + SENSE: Tiny Microphone, Piezo Vibration Sensor
    • TOUCH: Capacitance sensing, Pressure sensors, Flex sensors, Stretch sensors
    • WEATHER: Humidity sensors, Temperature sensors, Barometric Pressure sensor
    • POSITION: Accelerometer/Gyroscope, Tilt switch
  • Resistors:
    • 25 x 220 Ohm
    • 10 x 560 Ohm Resistors
    • 10 x 1K Ohm Resistors
    • 15 x 10K Ohm Resistors
  • 2 1N4001 Diodes
  • 5V Voltage regulator
  • 2-3 Perfboards
  • Wireless communication device (TBD)
  • Sturdy carrying case

Useful, but not required

  • Resistor pack (optional but *highly* recommended)
  • Extra Arduinos on hand. Arduino Pro Minis are cheap and do the trick, Floras are great for wearables, and Teensys are powerful for prototyping.
  • Enclosures
  • Fabrication materials
  • Craft materials


  • Solder (small gauge)
  • Solder wick (this helps you remove solder)
  • Digital multimeter (Make sure you can meaure resistance, amperage, and voltage. Here’s a good one from Adafruit and you can find some good ones on Amazon for $15-20 – no need to spend more than that)
  • Tweezers
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire cutters/snips
  • Needle nose pliers (I recommend jewelry tools for pliers and snips)
  • Soldering iron (This is optional, but I *highly* recommend picking up a cheap soldering iron that you can carry back and forth with you. While we have ordered new soldering irons for D12, public use usually means they don’t end up in the best condition)
  • Tinner (this cleans your soldering iron tip – this is optional, but very, very useful especially if you plan to only use the D12 irons)

Local Stores

  • Tinkersphere
  • Home depot*
  • Dollar Stores*
  • The Container Store*

*For miscellaneous materials

Online Distributors

  • Adafruit
  • SparkFun
  • Mouser
  • Digikey
  • Jameco
  • Amazon