5 Electrical Engineering Kits for College Students

As a college student studying electrical engineering (whether you’re studying it because it’s your major, you’re taking a class, or it’s a side interest of yours), you may find the experience both more rewarding and more rigorous than you originally expected. If you’re already an upperclassman, then you probably know what I’m talking about. Passing tough courses, internalizing complicated concepts, satisfying the curiosity you have for electrical engineering, and getting important hands-on experience can all be accomplished using electrical engineering kits for college students. Learning a concept in class and then going back to your dorm to reinforce it with your own kit is one of the best ways to learn a topic. Don’t worry if you’re not in college, though, because this list isn’t only for college students. Whatever category of learner you fall into, I hope you’ll find something here that’ll help you out.


Elenco AmeriKit Solder Practice Kit

assembled Elenco AmeriKit Solder Practice Kit

Starting with the basics, the Elenco AmeriKit Solder Practice Kit includes a simple circuit to help you practice soldering. This is the place to start to learn how to solder so that you’ll know how to build the other electrical engineering kits for college students. You’ll solder the components onto the PCB to build a device that creates a European-style siren sound with flashing LEDs. The instructions included with the kit are pretty clear and go over the basics of soldering, such as making sure you have clean connections, preventing soldering shorts, and even basic PC board repair, as well as a short desoldering exercise, which is a useful skill to have. There’s a brief quiz in the manual so that you can test yourself on the material. This kit includes a basic soldering iron, wire cutters, and solder. It does not include a 9V battery, which you’ll need to power the circuit.


  • Solder together a simple circuit that produces a European-style siren sound with flashing LEDs
  • Includes solder, soldering iron, and wire cutters
  • Manual walks you through everything, and includes a short quiz to help you understand the material
  • Does not include the required 9V battery


Elenco Micro-Master Computing Kit

assembled Elenco Micro-Master Computing Kit electrical engineering kits for college students

I’m honestly quite impressed by the Elenco Micro-Master Computing Kit. I wish I’d had it when I was a college student. With this kit you’ll build a simple computer while learning the basics of computing. This is one of this list’s more advanced electrical engineering kits for college students. If you follow the instructions and know how to solder (check out the AmeriKit Practice Solder Kit if you don’t), you shouldn’t have any problems. The manual includes several lessons so that you understand exactly what you’re doing and why you’re doing it before you begin. For example, Lesson 1 begins by explaining the binary and hexadecimal number systems with conversions and arithmetic in those systems. Lesson 2 then explains how computer memory works and is where you begin assembly by soldering various components onto the PCB. At the end of this lesson is a functional test to make sure the circuit you just assembled is working properly. Beginning with Lesson 10, you’ll start programming the machine. The programming procedure at this stage does not involve computer code, but is done through switches soldered on during the course of the lessons. In all, there are 14 lessons and by the end of the process you’ll know how to do such things as write into RAM and ROM, run an 8085 microprocessor, and you’ll learn about I/O ports and computer timers. The kit comes with all the required components, but does not include the required tools. The extra equipment you’ll need are a flat head screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, long nose pliers, wire cutters, a desoldering pump, scotch tape, and a soldering iron and solder. Optionally, you can also use a digital multimeter.


  • Build and initialize your own basic computer from the ground up
  • Manual contains 14 lessons to walk you through the process and help you understand everything that you’re doing
  • Soldering required
  • Learn to run an 8085 microprocessor
  • Flat head and Phillips screwdrivers, long nose pliers, wire cutters, desoldering pump, scotch tape, and soldering iron and solder are required but not included


Elenco Digital/Analog Trainer Kit

Elenco Digital/Analog Trainer Kit disassembled with parts neatly organized

Here is yet another Elenco product. (Elenco makes some cool electrical engineering kits for college students). This is the Elenco Digital/Analog Trainer Kit, where you’ll build a device for analyzing digital and analog circuits. It has 5 built-in power supplies and a function generator with continuously variable sine, triangle, and square wave forms. It even has a breadboard (added during the assembly process) on which you can build the circuits you’ll be analyzing. As with the Micro-Master Computing Kit, this kit requires soldering, so if you’re uncomfortable soldering, get the AmeriKit Solder Practice Kit or practice on your own. To get the kit operational, just follow the detailed instruction manual (the manual is printed sideways, so it’s hard to read on a computer). It walks through the entire process, showing diagrams for the circuits and many concepts that’ll help you understand some theory. All the components for assembly are included in the kit, though the tools are not. You’ll need a soldering iron, solder (do not use acid core solder), wire cutters, and long nose pliers. This kit comes in a metal case with a cloth tool pallet, making the Digital/Analog Trainer Kit very portable. The case also has an area to hold a meter, such as a DMM.


  • Build an analog/digital trainer for analyzing analog and digital circuits
  • 5 built-in power supplies
  • Continuously variable sine, triangle, and square wave form function generator
  • Includes metal case to contain the Analog/Digital Trainer Kit, a cloth tool pallet to hold your various circuit building tools, and space for a meter of your choice
  • Soldering required
  • Minimum tools required that are not included are soldering iron, solder, wire cutters, and long nose pliers. Other tools, such as screw drivers, will come in handy as well


Adeept Ultimate Sensor Kit for Arduino

all of the components for the Adeept Ultimate Sensor Kit for Arduino

The Adeept Ultimate Sensor Kit for Arduino is a simple kit with a variety of sensors and an Adeept branded Arduino UNO R3 microcontroller. The kit comes with 42 sensor modules and a guidebook with 36 lessons. After buying the kit, you have to email the company with the subject “require files for Arduino UNO Ultimate Sensor Kit” to get the guidebook, which is annoying, but is ultimately worth it. There are a lot of Arduino packages to choose from, but I chose this one because if focuses on sensors. I have personally found playing with sensors to be a great way to learn and understand circuit design and logic. Creating devices that respond to the environment is much more intuitive, plus it’s just more fun.  The kit includes everything you’ll need (even a small breadboard). The Arduino uses a USB cable (also included) to power it and upload sketches. The kit comes with some extras besides sensors, like a motor and propeller and an LCD screen for displaying data.


  • Arduino sensor kit with 42 sensors
  • The kit includes a few components besides sensors, such as an LCD screen and a motor with a propeller
  • Everything you need to get started is included
  • Guidebook contains 36 lessons. To obtain the guidebook, email the company with the subject line “require files for Arduino UNO Ultimate Sensor Kit” after purchase


Sparkfun Digital Oscilloscope DIY Kit

Sparkfun Digital Oscilloscope DIY Kit assembled

As an engineer, it’s always fun to build your own equipment. With the Sparkfun Digital Oscilloscope DIY Kit, you get to do just that. The PCB comes semi-populated. Specifically, all surface mounted components are already soldered on, so you’ll be left to solder all through-hole components. Once assembled, some of the controls you’ll have are two Y-sensitivity switches (one for the base value and the other for the multiplier), horizontal and vertical position adjustment buttons, horizontal timebase adjustment (seconds per division), trig mode adjustment, and a couple others. For the sake of brevity, head over to the product page to see a list of its other features, such as its resolution (8 bits) and sample memory depth (256). Don’t get your hopes up that you’ll build a professional-level oscilloscope, but it works fine for some dorm room tinkering. If you’re new to soldering or electronics in general, I wouldn’t attempt this kit yet. The instructions don’t hold your hand like the Elenco instruction manuals do, but they are clear and concise enough where if you have some knowledge of electronics, you won’t have any trouble following them. The digital oscilloscope kit does not come with a soldering iron or solder, and you’ll need a 9 – 12V (minimum of 300mA capacity) DC power supply. The kit includes all the electrical components you’ll need.


  • Build your own basic oscilloscope
  • This is an advanced kit, so don’t attempt if your new to soldering and electronics; you’ll just frustrate yourself and you may ruin the device during assembly
  • Includes basic oscilloscope controls, such as Y-sensitivity, horizontal and vertical position, horizontal timebase adjustment, etc.
  • Instructions are not difficult, but can be hard to understand if you’re new to electronics. Generally speaking, if you have the skills to build this kit, you can understand the instructions
  • Soldering iron, solder, and the required 9 – 12V, minimum 300mA DC power supply are not included


I hope this list has given you something to work with. There’re a lot of great electrical engineering kits for college students out there, but I tried to choose those that I enjoyed and that I thought could be the most fun, useful, and educational without inundating you with too many choices.