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  • Writer's pictureEmily Lavin

Del Mar School teacher uses own creation to teach kids basic circuitry

One of the first projects students tackled this year in Nate MacDonald’s Del Mar Middle School design lab was building self-moving Lego cars with the help of electronic building blocks called Circuit Cubes. The small cubes — a motor, a battery, an LED, a switch and more — can be combined magnetically or with wires to create simple circuits that power gadgets. Backed by more than $2 million in venture capital, MacDonald, 45, and his former coworker John Schuster co-founded Tenka Labs in 2015. They developed the cubes, which are sold individually as well as part of simple kits that enable kids to build a variety of projects, from a flashlight to a self-powered car to a motor-powered machine that draws with a pen or marker. The cubes can also be snapped onto Legos — they’re exactly two Lego bricks thick — so kids can power their own creations. (Clara Lu photo / For The Ark)

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