This is a hand-on, learn-by-doing course that shows you how to build solutions to real-world problems using embedded systems. Each student will purchase a Texas Instruments TM4C123 microcontroller kit and a few electronic components. This microcontroller has a state of the art ARM Cortex M4 processor. The course uses a bottom-up approach to problem-solving building gradually from simple interfacing of switches and LEDs to complex concepts like display drivers, digital to analog conversion, generation of sound, analog to digital conversion, graphics, interrupts, and communication. We will present both general principles and practical tips for building circuits and programming the microcontroller in the C programming language. You will develop debugging skills using oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, and software instrumentation. Laboratory assignments are first performed in simulation, and then you will build and debug your system on the real microcontroller. At the conclusion of this course you will be able to build your own arcade-style game with a Nokia 5110 LCD, available from Adafruit.
DIY Girls, a maker space in Los Angeles dedicated to cultivating a community of young, female makers, coders, and engineers, printed and laminated pages from our Ladyada’s “E is for Electronics” coloring book to hang around their space!
This sequence of tutorials was produced by the Processing Foundation as a part of Code.org‘s Hour of Code 2013 initiative to introduce students to computer programming. The program launched during Computer Science Education Week, 9-15 December 2013 with the goal of giving millions of students the opportunity to explore coding as a way of thinking and making.
Our contribution uses Processing, a programming platform designed to bring programming to visual arts communities and to bring techical fields closer to the visual arts. Processing is used to teach programming principles within the context of visual media. The Processing software is free to download and is open source. Visit the Processing website to download it and learn more.
Yeah, having your schoolwork posted on the fridge at home is cool. But having a video you made posted on the White House website and screened at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? We think that’s pretty cool, too. That’s why we’re super-excited to announce the
first-ever White House Student Film Festival: a video contest created just for K-12 students, and whose finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. Finalist videos may also be featured on the White House website, YouTube channel, and social media pages.
Adafruit is a fan of Charles Guan and his projects and have had him on Ask an Engineer this past summer. Here’s an interesting piece from Eric Weinhoffer at MAKE that makes a strong case for viewing Charles Guan‘s trademark MIT electric vehicle classes as a direction to take engineering education: facing off traditional engineering theoretical knowledge against real world execution. Guan challenges students to design, source, build, and test actual electric vehicles — sharpening their understanding of concepts while also learning valuable lessons from the hardware startup world:
Charles Guan is not a typical engineer. He not only makes electric vehicles very well, but is currently inspiring and teaching students as an instructor in a class he created. His mission is to give engineering students a meaningful hardware experience as early in their career as possible, by requiring them to work through the challenges of sourcing parts and building something reasonably complex – a working electric vehicle. The class has now been successfully run three times, with the current curriculum based around two-person teams, each of which is allocated a budget, access to a well-equipped shop, and a semester to build (and compete with) their vehicle.
Of course, getting people interested in the class isn’t hard, especially with the hum of electric motors and joyous students zipping around the halls in scooters or go-karts. Charles has been building electric vehicles for years and has slowly built up a following of individuals with similarly-built scooters and karts (who’ve traveled to Maker Faire, as seen above). By initially assisting in a special section of the 2.007 Mechanical Engineering class at MIT, and eventually taking it over to become an instructor, Charles has been able to continue shepherding engineering students off to go-karting glory.
So, why does all this matter? Well, I believe the way Charles has been teaching this course is the exact way more engineering courses should be taught, and I’d like to entertain the idea that this could end up being a model for other schools to follow in the future….
Do you still remember the Barobo mobot, a competent modular robot system with two body joints and two rotating faceplates. Barobo, Inc., manufacturer of Barobo mobot, announced today the launch of the Mobot-A robot kit, a 3D printed robot.
Barobo is a spin-off of technology developed at the University of California, aiming to make robotics more affordable, adaptable for education and industrial applications.
“As 3D printers become more and more common place in the classroom there’s a need for engaging projects and curriculum to tie this powerful tool into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects,” said Graham Ryland, President and Co-founder of Barobo.
All the 3D printable plastic parts, accessories, assembly instructions, and curriculum for the Mobot-A will be available to download from the company’s website.
NEW PRODUCT – Super Scratch Programming Adventure! Scratch is the wildly popular educational programming language used by millions of first-time learners in classrooms and homes worldwide. By dragging together colorful blocks of code, kids can learn computer programming concepts and make cool games and animations. The latest version, Scratch 2, brings the language right into your web browser, with no need to download software.
In Super Scratch Programming Adventure!, kids learn programming fundamentals as they make their very own playable video games. They’ll create projects inspired by classic arcade games that can be programmed (and played!) in an afternoon. Patient, step-by-step explanations of the code and fun programming challenges will have kids creating their own games in no time.
This full-color comic book makes programming concepts like variables, flow control, and subroutines effortless to absorb. Packed with ideas for games that kids will be proud to show off, Super Scratch Programming Adventure! is the perfect first step for the budding programmer.
Now Updated for Scratch 2 (To download the games for Scratch v1.4 Click Here)
The free Super Scratch Educator’s Guide provides commentary and advice on the book’s games suitable for teachers and parents.
For Ages 8 and Up
About the Author: The Learning through Engineering, Art, and Design (LEAD) Project is an educational initiative established to encourage the development of creative thinking through the use of technology. Created by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, the LEAD project promotes hands-on, design-based activities to foster innovation, problem solving skills, and technical literacy.
Hackers for Charity show their Pelican Pi, which is made from Adafruit products, to the Prime Minister of Rwanada:
The “Pelican Pi” idea is really, REALLY taking off thanks to Daniel and Lisa. Their latest demo was in Rwanda at the ICT4AG conference and the ICT4AG Hackathon. I find it ironic that Hackers for Charity was presenting vicariously through Daniel and Lisa all the way in Rwanda. And they rocked it.
There, they met with Hon Jean Philbert Nsengimana, who is the Rwandan Minister of Youth and ICT. Daniel spent a few moments showing the Minister the Pelican Pi, and Lisa captured some video footage that’s a must-see. At around 2:45, Daniel grabs the Minister by the elbow, and the Minister is quite annoyed (it seems) but after a while, he warms up and eventually pulls out his iPad to try out the Pelican. It was cool to see.
Click here to read more about Hackers For Charity’s education efforts in Uganda.
Spencer Kelly: You mentioned the Raspberry Pi. Are you a fan of getting real nuts-and-bolts engineering into schools as early as possible?
Woz: From a very young age on. You don’t need the high-level math of calculus or the stuff you get at university level. Any young child, even ten years old, can understand enough to learn to program, and the Raspberry Pi – you can hook wires to little motors, you can build devices that do things. What an incredible learning experience. Or sensors – you know, or when I say a certain word it’ll turn on the lights. Those are really fun projects for young people. And they are a growing step in developing the great technologists of the future, that build the devices we all live with.
Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel at TED-Ed created a short about the history of the word Robot:
In 1920, Czech writer Karel Čapek wrote a play about human-like machines, thereby inventing the term robot from the Central European word for forced labor. Jessica Oreck and Rachael Teel explain how the science fiction staple earned its name.
The NYC Foundation For Computer Science Education (csnyc.org for short) is a non-profit (501c3) with a simple mission:
Ensure that all children in the NYC public schools have access to computer science education that will put them on a pathway to academic success and a 21st century career.
It will likely take a decade to accomplish this mission but we are committed to seeing it happen. We are raising capital, supporting a range of CS programs, helping them get uptake in NYC’s public schools, and evaluating all of them to see what works best.
The SPARK is now taking submissions for a modern day version of the classic chemistry set. The contest expands beyond the traditional chemistry set model to all areas of STEM, via Evil Mad Scientist:
SPARK is a project of the Society for Science & the Public, in collaboration with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that will inspire adults, through the challenge of competition, to generate a new set of experiences and activities that capture children’s imagination in science, spark and fuel their interests, and foster persistent curiosity and creativity. To be clear, we’re interested in science beyond chemistry. We borrow this term to capture the spirit and magic of what the classic chemistry set spawned in the 1940s – 60s. We’re looking for ideas that can engage kids as young as 8 and inspire people who are 88. We’re looking for ideas that honor kids’ curiosity about how things work.