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TTM Collaborative

A Light Sensing Circuit

The Plan

Our goal is to review material from last week, and introduce this weeks concept: building the light sensing circuit. The students will first learn the basic properties, e.g., direction of electrical flow, components, etc., while building a paper mock up of the circuit. Finally the Students will build their own photo sensing circuit using the diagram as a guide.

  

Arduino and Circuit

The Tech Monsters Light Sensing Circuit.

What Went Well

Students used the vocabulary from last class and were able to name the components of the circuit successfully . They grasped the new circuit concepts quickly and were able to apply them effectively.  Our concerns that the breadboards would be difficult to understand were unwarranted for this group of students. We were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the class went.

 

Another viewing angle of our Photoresistor circuit.

Another viewing angle of our Photoresistor circuit.

What Went Wrong
 

While we have developed better student materials, we still … Read More

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TTM Collaborative

Creating A Common Vocabulary

The Plan

We have just started a new session with a new group of students. For our first week we wanted to go over the syllabus and tech-dictionary to give the students a better understanding of the material they will encounter. We especially wanted to emphasize the use of nouns (like microcontroller) over pronouns (like thing) so that we could all communicate more effectively using a common vocabulary.

 

What Actually Happened

We were able to present the syllabus and tech-dictionary with time for questions. We asked the students why they signed up for this enrichment class. Some of the students were especially interested in the aquarium aspects, others were interested in building circuits, still others signed up because they wanted to build a tiny computer. Overall, the students seemed engaged and interested in the material, and were excited for the upcoming weeks.… Read More

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TTM Collaborative

Troubleshooting Required

For the second class, The Tech Monsters envisioned the students setting up their Raspberry Pi workstations and logging in. However, the hardware proved to be fickle, and the process of assembling the workstations was full of pitfalls.  Overall, the students’ unfamiliarity, and our inexperience setting up the workstations in a classroom setting, created a chaotic environment. Out of the ten workstations, only one student was able to log into their Pi. Miles’ first fear was that the students had damaged the Pi’s. Several students were visibly disappointed and frustrated. But all was not lost; this was a teachable moment.

 

Before the next class, Miles decided to troubleshoot each workstation to deduce the source of the issues. The most common problem was a hardware quirk:  the HDMI video cable needed to be plugged in before the micro USB power cable. In addition several students had not seated their sd cards … Read More

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