Arduino Pumpkin Class 1 and 2

*This is a crosspost from my nonprofit 212 STEAM Labs*

So much is happening at 212 STEAM Labs that there is barely time to write and document. The last two weeks we have been running Arduino coding classes to help people learn how to code along with physical computing.

We started out in class one understanding the basics of Arduino and how it works. We started to explore how to code an LED light in a variety of ways – blinking, multiple LED, push button activation, potentiometer adjustments, and more.

During class 2 we refreshed our skills with the LED lights and added in a servo motor component. These two basic functions will be enough to begin to create, carve, and code our very own robotic pumpkins during the next two weeks of class.

We are learning that coding takes time. It does not come easy and like anything in life it requires practice and patience.

If you want to learn more about what we are doing, then check out these two videos.

Additionally, if you want to learn more we have created tutorials of the work we are doing in class to help guide you at home.

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 1: What is in the kit? https://youtu.be/Ph4ekQmqm0c

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 2: What is an Arduino? https://youtu.be/b4M7UmZBSOU

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 3: Download the Software https://youtu.be/r8PIuBxPlLQ

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 4: Syncing Arduino with Software https://youtu.be/GZZQ-uRnEJw

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 5: LED Light on Pin 13 https://youtu.be/0xnszPlK_vw

Code

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 6: Coding Variables for LED https://youtu.be/GtvWCwZse2k

Code

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 7: LED Challenge https://youtu.be/JLXhQZOc76A

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 7: LED Challenge Answer https://youtu.be/RevNRAddIx0

Code

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 8: Potentiometer Basics https://youtu.be/_j3UT-Ry9Y0

Code

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 9: Push Button https://youtu.be/aGun2ZVdBdA

Code

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 10: Multiple LED Marquee Style https://youtu.be/rQ475xOt0ZU

Code

212 STEAM Labs: Arduino Class Part 11: Single Servo https://youtu.be/Yz786YvHZg0

Code

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The power of women in STEM

My AHA! Moment

Last week during one of my classes that I teach at 212 STEAM Labs we began working on coding with Arduino. In this class I have students from grades 5-8. It is a small, but mighty class. We have two girls and three boys who are in this particular class. Last week I had something very powerful happen that I believe is worth sharing that goes beyond any infographic, trend data, or research that is often shared about women in STEM.

Since starting this nonprofit, 212 STEAM Labs, I have had several people who have provided amazing work, dedication, and energy to making this vision a reality.

During class last week I had a young woman who has been helping me write grants and find resources come to class. She wanted to check things out and see how classes operate and flow. When she came to class the girls instantly transformed. They started hammering her with questions. They kept an eye on her as we worked on learning how to program a LED. They would go to her to show her their work. They wanted her to acknowledge them.

They were excited to have a female lead(no pun intended) in this STEM field. As much as I talk about the importance of women, minorities, and basically just all types of people(do we really need labels?) I was watching with my own two eyes the power in having kindred spirits and the power in being able to relate to an adult who is like you.

As we were cleaning up and closing up for the night the one student just could not get enough of the fact that we had an adult female in the class. As she was leaving, the young girl asked if she could give her a hug.

This was when I realized the power and impact of having more than middle aged bald white dudes in STEM.

This same situation holds true in any situation. How would things change if my daughter had a chance to be coached by a female who played college basketball instead of men? How would things change if we had more women teaching STEM classes? How would things change in general if kids could see leaders in their passion areas who looked liked them?

When I spoke at the DALI STEM conference a few weeks back I shared an insight that is something we should consider – kids can’t be what they don’t see.

Kids often say they are going to be a professional athlete or TV star or musician because that is what they see all the time. What opportunities are we creating as educators and parents to help kids begin to see other options in life? Are we bringing them to businesses? Are we connecting their learning to what others are doing in the field now? Are we providing opportunities like the other night where we had an adult woman doing coding?

This is what we need to focus on. This is the awareness we need to be building. It is hard to set goals for things we cannot see in our mind.

I have not been able to stop thinking about this class. As I prepare for another night of class with this group this week I continue to think about how to make more of these opportunities happen down the road.

As you know as well as I do, all it takes is a spark. It takes a human connection for us to realize what is possible. When those sparks fly as they did last week nothing can stop a person from achieving what they put their mind to even if it is turning on a LED on a small breadboard. Creating that simple circuit is no different than the circuit between two people to realize the potential of what could be.

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053: Living On The Edge of Chaos – Hacking STEM with Todd Beard

Check out the show and episodes on iTunes

Another great episode speaking with my good friend Todd Beard who is helping to change the education landscape of STEM across the nation.

Todd Beard

MIE Fellow

He also works with Youth Spark and a host of other job details as part of the Microsoft Philanthropy.

Todd is also part of the Hack STEM team.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeacherBeard

Show Notes

8:00 – How Todd taught grades k-12 Computer and adapted ideas to the real world

14:00 – As STEM is becoming more a buzzword, there are still many singletons trying to figure out what it all means. How have schools been able to implement successfully and not just another add on?

24:00 – Exciting stories from STEM in the fields.

“STEM solves the workforce issue”

“STEAM” is what makes America great!”

SAIL – Successful Attempt In Learning

32:00 – What is your WOW project?

Lightning Round

Current Read – Gary Paulsen Brian’s Winter
Follow these people

Join a group such as BreakoutEDU and Makered

Spirit Animal

Eagle

Final Thoughts

Be an educational advocate

 

 

 

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The Discovery in Learning via Ancient Engineering

“The scandal of education is that every time you teach something you deprive a child of the pleasure and benefit of discovery.” Papert, S. (1996)

This video showcases our final class of making trebuchets and catapults and more. Through discovery of tinkering, experimenting, prototyping, and asking “What if?” students were able to take their ideas from paper and transform to the real world.

This is the beauty of STEM and STEAM education and the core of makerspaces and learning that sticks.

Learn more about 212 STEAM Labs

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Awesome Ava & Addy Make Color Changing Slime

We are back at it making new slime recipes. This time we explored how to make color changing slime. While we thought it would be an epic failure when we started, it actually turned out really great! Check out the video for the results. We start testing around the 8 minute mark if you don’t care to learn how to make slime. Enjoy!

Materials

Thermochromic Temperature Activated Powder or this sample pack Thermochromic Temperature Powder

Elmer’s Liquid Clear School Glue or this brand works

Borax Powder or liquid starch

Food Coloring

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052: Living On The Edge of Chaos – Head Thoughts

In this episode I share the battle we all face with the voice in our head.

We speak to ourself more than anyone else so it is important what we say in these conversations.

And I challenge you to frame your words in a way that has worked for me to check myself before I wreck myself.

Check out the show and episodes on iTunes

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051: Living On The Edge of Chaos – Don’t Compare Yourself

In this episode I share an insight I gained while running bright and early one morning last week prior to the grand opening. It is an important lesson for all of us to remember as I am sure at some point we have compared ourselves to others.

Don’t do it.

Let me know your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.

Check out our 212 STEAM Labs website

Check out the show and episodes on iTunes

 

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Coffeechug Catapult 1.0 Crowdsource Maker Challenge

This video is a challenge to see how to make Coffeechug Catapult 1.0 even better for version 2.0

The goal here is to promote thinking, problem solving, prototyping, and experimenting within the makerspaces to enhance our learning. I thought it would be fun to crowdsource the journey and discover how others would solve the problem.

Feel free to share with your students and classes the challenge and look forward to the comments for me to test out in the next prototype.

 

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How to Make Personalized LEGO Nametag

One of the activities that I will be using in my 212 STEAM Labs to help the STEAMsters get to know one another since they are coming from different schools and grades is to make a personalize LEGO Nametag.

As you will see in the video this allows students to be creative and speak about themselves in an indirect way.

Let me know what you think and below are links to purchase all the parts in case you don’t have them.

Enjoy!

Here are links to items that I have bought to make these nametags in case you don’t have them at home.

10 Name Badge Magnets

DYMO LabelManager 160 Handheld Label Maker

LEGO Parts and Pieces: White 1×8 Tile x10 by LEGO

LEGO Parts and Pieces: Dark Gray 4×8 Tile

12 Random Lego Minifigures

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