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The Blog
TTM Collaborative

The Next Tech Monsters Session Begins

We have just begun The Tech Monsters next session with a new group of very excited students. Based on feedback from students and facilitators we removed our front loaded Vocabulary Lab and split it up into bite sized chunks. We decided to try a new approach with demonstrating the systems so that the students were quickly able to visualise their goals during the next 7 weeks.

The changes we made included moving the Monstrarium construction to the first Lab in an attempt to crystallize their understanding of what our goals were. In addition, we provided a demonstration of our lab stations taking temperature and light readings.

The Tech Monsters Lab

Our current Lab Stations look like this.

During the course of their first lab, the students expressed excitement for both the electronics and biology aspects of their experience. We attempted to weave vocabulary into the group conversation as we demonstrated the capturing of data Read More

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TTM Collaborative

System Resources and IDE’s

Day 4: Arduino IDE


What We Planned


Review the hardware reference material, introduce the Arduino IDE, and guide students through using and modifying their light sensor sketch. The students will be able to use their light sensor circuits from last class with their raspberry pi to measure their light levels. While introducing the Arduino IDE we will go into detail to aid in the student’s understanding of the light sensor Arduino sketch. If time allows we will introduce students to Mathematica and the advanced light sensor sketch.

What Went Well


The reference materials we reviewed at the beginning appeared to maintain their interest. Throughout the class, the students used nouns (keyboard, USB type A) in place of pronouns (thing, whatchamacallit) while discussing the hardware used in their workstations. We also observed that our classroom management has improved markedly. The students were engaged during the whole class and … Read More

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TTM Collaborative

Raspberry Pi

Assembly Required



The Plan


Review the proper terminology for all of the equipment. Show the students how to hook up their workstations, including: all cables, components, etc. After the Pi’s are turned on, students will log in and interact with their light sensing circuit via the Arduino IDE sketch we have prepared.



What Went Well


We showed the students how to conceptually plug in all of the cables using a diagram of photographs of the components. The students successfully assembled their workstations. Though we didn’t cover logging in to the Raspberry Pi and opening the Arduino IDE, some students were able to successfully log themselves into their Raspberry Pi. Best of all, when the students did encounter an issue during this process, they helped each other to overcome it.


What Went Wrong


We forgot to print out the USB reference material we had created. We had planned … Read More

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