The SPARKI kit is made up of components that facilitate learning about topics relevant to radio communications including electromagnetic waves, electronics, encoding/decoding, and software defined radios. The kit includes various components that are used during the hands-on activities including springs, a Snap Circuits set, a specially programmed Raspberry Pi that works in concert with a provided Software Defined Radio (SDR) dongle, a large monitor, rabbit ear antennas, and all the required cabling for the suggested activities.

Contents of the SPARKI Kit

  • Slinky and Helical (Long) Spring
  • SC-300 Snap Circuits Classic Kit
  • Snap Circuit Student and Teacher guides are online at
  • Morse Code Key
  • Tape Measure
  • Jumper cables (snap to banana) to connect Morse Code Key to SC-300
  • RTL-SDR Software Defined Radio Dongle with Rabbit Ear Antennas and stand
  • ARISS Radio Pi, which includes:
    • Raspberry Pi computer and power supply
    • SD Card with ARISS Radio Pi software embedded in Raspberry Pi
    • Raspberry Pi-Compatible Keyboard and Mouse
  • 50-foot USB extender cable to connect RTL-SDR to ARISS Radio Pi
  • HP HDMI Monitor with built in speakers
  • HDMI Cable
  • Necessary cables and connectors
  • Book: Ada Lace, Take Me to Your Leader

The SPARKI Handbook

The SPARKI Educator’s Guide (Handbook) provides educators with educational material from which they can derive lesson plans tailored to their academic environment, including engaging hands-on activity suggestions to enhance the students’ learning. Click on the links below to access each of the chapters in the SPARKI Handbook or the entire handbook at once.

The SPARKI kit was developed with the generous support of the Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) foundation to further the ARISS objectives in the teaching environment.