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Top gizmos for wee techies

The past decade or so has witnessed an explosion of creativity in the toys-for-techies arena. Where budding geeks once had to limit themselves to model rockets and ham radios, there now exist countless do-it-yourself kits, introductions to a particular field of science, and just-plain-neat gadgets to tinker with. We welcome this era and are happy to highlight a few particularly nifty toys, projects, and doodads.

By Chris Colin

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Snap Circuits SC-300

Snap Circuits SC-300
Ages 8 to 14, $60

Even the name is geeky. This award-winning introduction to electronics is essentially a naked circuit board, set up for more than 300 fun projects. Kids can wire their own doorbell, speaker, fan motor, burglar alarm, and AM radio, just by snapping the components together on a simple plastic grid.

The bottom line: An adapatable circuit board for kids.

Chris Colin is the author of What Really Happened to the Class of '93 and writes the "On the Job" column for the San Francisco Chronicle as well as stories for the New York Times, Mother Jones, McSweeney’s Quarterly, and GOOD magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

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