Spent most of my Saturday with a bunch of other passionate educators at the East Bay CUE STEM Symposium in Pleasant Hill. Although it is a required #MERIT18 attendance, I’m really glad that my membership with #MERIT18 has opened my world to a new PLN.
Raspberry Pi & Python
There were many sessions available for the day’s symposium, but I have been searching and looking for a way to go from coding to circuitry (while bringing coding to the next unit). I am pretty sure Raspberry Pi is now the way. Amanda Haughs (@MsHaughs) showed us how to use the solderless breadboards to create simple circuits. The kits provided contained interesting LEDs that had large LEDs in it. I think those would be so nice to use in the classroom. The small LED bulbs aren’t always so obvious when lit, especially if the classroom is bright or if the bulbs were used in a previous experiment.
The next part was using Python with the Raspberry Pi computers. Even though I generally created the materials for class, had one-on-one sessions with students who struggled through coding, I forgot how to apply the syntax into this new situation. I liked the fact that scaffolding to achieve the tasks was removed, but the notes and material created for the coding lessons were still usable. With the circuitry, it will be both tactilely and visually obvious that the code either worked or didn’t.
I generally enjoyed this all day session and learning with the other teachers. This was the bridge I have been searching for to make the coding to circuitry units make more sense. I hope that I can get approval from the department chair to purchase a class set. (Or maybe, I can make it a “required textbook” for next year? We’ll see…
Although the photos don’t do it justice, I actually did more than what the pictures show. At one point, I had three LED lights (with resistors) connected. I love any project that shows blinky lights!