Understanding Circuit Boards - Circuit Playground

The Circuit Playground is a round circuit board developed by Adafruit Industries. It is designed specifically for education as an affordable circuit board stuffed to the brim with sensors and programmable bits. It includes things like Neopixel LEDs, a triple axis accelerometer, and IR send and receive sensor. There are two different versions of the board, the classic and the express. They are different and there are lots of reasons to have one over the other. Of course, that all sounds super complicated and technical, but I will break it down for you. The Circuit Playground Classic (or CP), is the original board. It costs less than the newer version but it has limitations. The CP can only be used with Arduino to program it. Arduino is programming language based on C. It's pretty common among open source hardware, so if you start of with CP, you can "upgrade" or move on to different boards that only run Arduino. The Circuit Playground Express (or CPX) can also be program

#iAspire, My Experience with the Aspirations in Computing Award

In my senior year of high school (2015-2016), I won the National Center for Women and Information Technology Aspirations in Computing Award for Connecticut. This award is given to young women in high school who show an active interest and/or involvement with computing. I wasn't really interest in computer science at the time, at least not the way it was taught as school, but I did a lot of STEM outreach through Girl Scouts. I wrote about that outreach, which was also my Gold Award project that was in progress at the time. I knew I wanted to go into electrical engineering, because of multiple summer camps in previous years where I fell in love with hardware, but because of my computer science class, I had my doubts. By earning this award I knew that people believed in me and my passion for education and STEM. I was also introduced to a vast community of people from different backgrounds with a thing in common, code and STEM. Being in the community offered a space for information a

All the Show and Tell!

Hi! All of my Show and Tell appearances are now listed on the left! I will update them after I am on air. If you want to catch me live, check out Adafruit's Show and Tell every week at 7:30pm  EST. Share your projects too, so everyone can see the cool things you are working on. The best way to get new ideas is to share your own! Never Stop Making Rebecca the Maker

New Guide Up!

Hi everyone! Today a new guide is up on Maker411 ! This guide is something I wrote this summer to talk about starting off with electronics. It lists a bunch of my favorite circuit boards that I use all the time, plus it includes the 3D printer that I use! Take some time and check it out! It's definitely worth the read. Never Stop Making Rebecca the Maker

Getting Started with Electronics and Engineering at Home

Intro: Electronics and engineering are everywhere in today’s society. Lots of children want to learn and be a part of this world of new and exciting technology. They could be the next big inventor, or the creator of the next big thing. Engineering starts at home. There are lots of low cost options to start creating new and exciting things. Many of these options are even free and online. I’ve lined up some fantastic resources for you and your child to get started with electronics, engineering, and learning together. Code.Org is a nonprofit that hosts several free online courses to learn coding. They teach code using Block code, meaning that you connect together drag and drop blocks to make a code and complete a goal. You can get started today for free, with no sign ups required and complete an Hour of Code course in less than an hour. Perfect for grade s K-12 Raspberry Pi Raspberry Pi is a low cost single board computer that can be attached to any scree

An end to an unexpected hiatus

It's been a long time since my last post, and I am still behind on posting projects and tutorials on my other blogs. I've had a super busy summer. I worked on some curriculum design and lots of fun projects! I have also started writing a book with my own curriculum, and I promise (super super promise) that I will post more details on these projects throughout October. Honesty time, I am super new to blogging. I am still trying to figure out my own bugs and making a schedule and sticking to it for posting content. I work on a lot of big projects and I want to get into more video content in the future. A lot of the time, I am reading and learning new things. This isn't always interesting to hear about, but it is super important in order for me to do the fun things and fun projects that I do all of the time. Coming up, I am a maker at Greater Hartford Mini Maker Faire in October of 2017. I am also a speaker at the Connecticut Science Teacher's Association Conferen

Memorial Day Updates!

Hey Makers! It's Memorial Day weekend and I have some updates for you guys. First things first, school's out for summer. This means that I have a lot more time to work on my own projects like my business Sparks to Sparkles , and some electronics projects. For starters, I am working on sewing my own skirt right now that will light up with wearable electronics. More on this project soon. The Healthy Planter project that I was working on was finished. It didn't work great, but it did work well enough for proof of concept. I will be posting a full guide with details on how I made the planter and the results of using it in the coming days. All of the project that I work on this summer will have full guides made for them as well. Stay tuned. This is shaping up to be an awesome summer for making. Never stop making! Rebecca the Maker