Connecting Coding and Circuits
Participate and share : Interactive lecture
Samantha Lindgren Jana Sebestik Christina Tran
This engineering challenge explores a connection between code and physical devices using a microcontroller. The activities offer an opportunity to edit and create CircuitPython code that interacts with sensors and lights. Participants build circuits, analyze sensor data, and use an engineering design process to create and perfect a physical model.
|Audience:||Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators|
|Attendee devices:||Devices required|
|Attendee device specification:||Laptop: Mac, PC, Chromebook
|Participant accounts, software and other materials:||For laptop users the Mu Python code editor is available for download at no charge. https://codewith.mu/.
Chromebook users will need to use a text editor compatible with Python. Text App is available in the Chrome Webstore.
|Topic:||Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning|
|Subject area:||Computer science, Science|
|ISTE Standards:||For Educators:
Participants will receive a set of materials and an activity guide. During the session they will build circuits, write code, and upload it to a small microprocessor. They will edit their code and redesign their circuits as they create a cyber-physical model. The activities are designed to introduce and encourage conversation about aspects of the national power grid through hands-on experiences and familiar contexts.
Participants will leave with resources and experiences that encourage student engagement in hands-on exploration, coding, and awareness of electricity delivery systems. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-OE0000780.
• Participants will be introduced to new technologies in the electricity delivery system and the importance of security and resiliency. Resources for further exploration will be provided. (5 minutes)
• Participants will build simple LED circuits and write code to blink the light. They will reconfigure their circuits to include additional LEDs and write additional code. (20 minutes)
• Participants will each add a photo sensor to their circuits and write code to analyze the sensor data and allow the sensor to control their LEDs. They will incorporate piezo buzzers. (25 minutes)
• Participants will adapt their circuits to provide power to components in a model neighborhood. They may design a system that lights neighborhood lights when darkness is detected or play music when there is sufficient light. Some may want to include a design for backup power when an outage is detected. (30 minutes)
• Participants will share final thoughts and comments. (10 minutes)
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