There are many ways you can purchase the pinball machine project kits. These purchasing options were designed to give you the flexibility of choosing based on maker group sizes and experience levels, budget constraints, construction timeframes, and evaluation periods that lower financial risk.
STEM Projects - International High Schools
Budget Constraints - Pricing has been set to US Dollars to give a fixed amount for our USA and other international customers, despite changes in the AU/US exchange rate. The difference in US/AU exchange rate is used to fund the additional international freight costs and taxes. The result is that freight and taxes are included in the international US price, so no unexpected additional costs. Schools can purchase via the "All Kits (Quote/Invoice)" and save with a Bank to Bank transfer (no credit card fees).
Sustainable Funding Model - To help schools provide the pinball machine project to students on an ongoing basis, the finished machine is a commercially viable product that can reasonably be sold for the cost price to an interested party. Therefore, when sold as a finished pinball the kits are zero cost to schools.
STEM Projects - Australian High Schools
Budget Constraints - The averaged Cost of Living Index shows Australia and the USA to be roughly equal, however the cost of $US to $AU conversion means Australian schools would pay 1.5 times more for the kits. To keep the kits affordable, a discount coupon will be provided to Australian customers, and can be applied to the price at the Checkout or on the Quote/Invoice. The net effect of these discount coupons will ensure the Australian local currency price remains similar to the international US price, plus the additional freight and GST costs. Australian schools can also purchase via the "All Kits (Quote/Invoice)" and save with a Bank to Bank transfer (no credit card fees).
STEM Project - Home-Based Schooling
Home Budget Constraints - The pinball machine project is an ideal STEM project for parent-son/daughter team builds and home-schooling students. To allow for smaller home budget affordability, the kits can be purchased on a One Kit at a Time Subscription basis. There are three subscription options, with kits delivered either weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
Reduced Financial Risk - To keep the financial commitment risk as low as possible, the subscription payments can be cancelled at any time for any reason.
Adult Makers: Makerspaces, Community Colleges, Trade and Tech Colleges
Alternative Funding Models - The pinball machine project would make a practical, real-world, hands-on, project-based and fun course for young adults enrolled at a community college, makerspace, or technical / trade college. Funding of the pinball machine kits could come from Crowdfunding, and the EPK website has a free crowdfunding application available for group funded projects, such as donating the pinball machine to charities like children's hospital playrooms. Alternatively, there may be a corporate sponsor or someone wanting to commission the building of their pinball machine, who sponsor the project.
FAQ - Group Sizes, Experience Levels
Group Sizes - A small group of students (e.g., 10) could be split into two groups of five, building one kit per group, with each student having an independent activity to complete over 2 hours. The five students would alternate between the five activity types across five kits. Larger groups (e.g., 20 students) could build 2 pinball machines instead of one, with the same 5 student per kit configuration. An alternative configuration could be one pinball machine and one kit per student (16 students/kits) with 4 students testing, correcting and installing subassemblies.
Student Experience Levels - Many of the skills can be acquired during kit construction, however these skills take many hours of practice to become proficient and error free. For example, soldering is a highly skillful task taking many hours of practice (lead-free more so than lead soldering). Therefore, if students have already been trained in the art of soldering to a high level of reliability, this will speed up the kit construction, as some of the more complex PCBs have over 300 solder joints.
FAQ - Construction Timeframe, Machines Built
Construction Timeframes - The configuration (number of students per kit), student skill level, and time allowed per session will determine the timeframe. Typically, you should allow 10 hours video instruction time and 10 hours construction time per kit (16 x 20 = 320hrs). Plus, there will be about 40 hours needed for cabinet build (4hrs), subassembly testing (16hrs), subassembly fitting (16hrs), and artwork installation onto the playfield/cabinet (4hrs). This totals 360 hours, therefore for one machine/ 10 students (or 2 machines / 20 students):
= 36hrs each, across two 10-week school terms = about 2hrs per week per student.
Teacher Experience/Supervision - teacher experience is beneficial but not essential, as student tend to pick up the needed knowledge and skills from watching the video tutorials. Teacher supervision, however, is essential for safety and to prevent students "winging it" which tends to result in construction errors and some are irreversible (such as wood gluing). Soldering, on the other hand can be undone but is very difficult to do in some instances. Detailed example Lesson Plans are provided with kits as free file downloads.