Hack Club Grants Encourage Open Source PCB Designs By Teens

Hack Club OnBoard

[Hack Club] is a nonprofit network of coder and maker clubs for teenage high school students around the world. With an impressive reach boasting clubs in about 400 schools, they serve approximately 10,000 students. Their OnBoard program asserts, “Circuit boards are magical. You design one, we’ll print it!”

Any teenage high school student can apply for a [Hack Club] OnBoard Grant to have their Printed Circuit Board design fabricated into real hardware.  The process starts by designing a PCB using any tool that can generate Gerber files. The student then publishes their design on GitHub and submits the Gerber files to a PCB manufacturer.

A screenshot from the board house showing the completed design upload and production cost is the main requirement of the grant application.  If approved, the grant provides up to $100 to cover PCB manufacturing costs.

OnBoard encourages collaboration, community, and friends. Designers can share their projects and progress with [Hack Club] teens around the world. Those who are working on, or have completed, their own circuit board designs can share support and encouragement with their peers.

Example hardware projects from [Hack Club] include Sprig, an open-source handheld game console based on the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller.  Teen makers can explore the example OnBoard projects and then it’s… three, two, one, go!

6 thoughts on “Hack Club Grants Encourage Open Source PCB Designs By Teens

  1. In the UK teenagers under 18 are banned from buying tools in case they injure themselves so have a problem doing practical hobby interests like electronics or model making etc so are restricted to looking at screens no wonder uk imports everything and is losing people with practical skills stupid governments fault when I was at school I was able to buy tools and parts to do electronics which led me into a career if electronics

    1. “In the UK teenagers under 18 are banned from buying tools”

      Oh wow. Something went really wrong with society, not just in UK.

      Meanwhile, not that long ago in Poland, a teenage me bought a hatchet in a local Kaufland. Why? No practical reason, just for laughs. During summer days I would put an airgun (which I bought myself online) on my back and ride bicycle across town (of about 35 000 residents) to an abandoned shooting range located on the outskirts of the city. Had lots of fun doing HFT-like target practice. Neither people nor local police ever gave a damn, after all it was just a pellet gun and I’m not endangering anyone with my hobby.

      I could even (gasp!) buy spray paint to decorate my potato gun.

      1. “In the UK teenagers under 18 are banned from buying tools”

        Last month I purchased a multi-tool through self checkout at Walmart.
        The transaction was paused until an “associate” verified that I was old enough to buy a knife (part of the multi-tool).

    2. Please link to sources. I don’t think any such legislation exists in the UK.

      Certain items are age restricted such as dangerous weapons (including axes and knives (except pen knives with blades under 3″) petrol and spray cans. Also certain solvents & gules (if there is the suspicion by the vendor of misuse by the purchaser) which, due to hefty fines for the retailer, may equate to a blanket ban.

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