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The Blog
TTM Collaborative

The One Where We Build A Light Sensing Circuit!

Our goals for the second lab consisted of guiding students conceptually through the construction of a light sensing circuit, and through it physical assembly. We hoped to provide understanding of how a simple electric circuit would perform the required goal of measuring light. In addition, we provided a review of the previous classes material to aid in the students understanding of the biological processes present within their Monstrariums.


During the Lab we were yet again presented with the difficulty of helping the students assemble their circuits on their breadboards. We are still having difficulty over our use of predefined coordinates to guide the students in placing their components. When provided with the breadboard coordinates, all of the students are successful, but we are not convinced that they understand the purpose behind our choices of locations for the electrical components. In the future we plan to spend more time discussing Read More

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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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