Cool Toys pics of the day: Yenka


Please enjoy the following from today’s post from guest author, Larry Works! (Bio below)


Recently, I found the Yenka simulation suite from CrocodileClips (a
Scottish company) while trying to explain to my youngest son (he’s 11)
how a decade counter works. We were talking about digital clocks and
after we played around in Yenka a little bit, he got it.

Here’s the specific activity if you’re interested in decade counters:

Yenka offers FREE (for home use) simulation software. As well as 1
free copy for schools. From very elementary subjects such as lighting
a bulb, to more advanced subjects such as programming PICS, PCB
creation (allows exporing for manufacturing and complete BOM). This
allows you to set up experiments using drag & drops and then you run
them to see what you’ve created actually does. There are literally
hundreds of editable lessons and experiments so you aren’t starting
from scratch. You can easily change the properties of circuits,
lightwaves, gears, etc. to see how it affects what you’ve built or are
learning about.

There are far too many items to describe here but it seems an ideal
environment for teaching (or relearning) Computing, Science,
Mathematics, and Technology topics. Very helpful if you are preparing
younger kids for the Science Olympiad or older kids who
want to understand the National Power Grid (yes, there’s a simulator
for that too) or are making their own robot for FIRST Robotics

Science Olympiad

FIRST Robotics

And for you Makers out there, if you get Yenka Gears and Yenka PCBs,
they work together so you can create and simulate circuit designs
which link to your gears and flywheels through motors, solenoids and
generators. Then if you want to build it in the real world you can
export the PCB layout for manufacture along with a full Bill of
Materials for buying your parts. Maybe not quite as much fun as doing
everything from scratch or risking a nick on your finger but it’s a
heck of a lot cheaper!

Here are a few video demos of various topics.

Electromagnetic overview:

Electromagnetic experiments:

Programming PICS:

Physics Mass & Motion:

3D Gears:

National Power Grid:


Larry Works (aka A2Works) is a professional photographer who specializes in Family, Child & Animal portraiture (LINK: here in Ann Arbor.  He also builds Nixie clocks for (LINK  He is an active member of several local tech groups including Go-Tech (LINK:  In a past life, he was the IT manager responsible for collaboration software and network portal deployments at General Motors for use by North American automotive suppliers.


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