Shop classes have all but disappeared from many American schools, and at first glance that might seem like a logical step. Why would today’s wired kids need to know how to work with their hands? The answer is that they still need the inspiration and understanding that results from turning something digital into something real.
As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, manufacturing jobs paying upwards of $80,000 a year are going unfilled in an era when unemployment hovers around nine percent. Three factors are contributing to the shortfall in workers. Baby boomers with sophisticated machine skills are retiring in large numbers at the same time that parents and guidance counselors discourage kids from pursuing careers in manufacturing. Additionally, the U.S. education system isn’t producing enough graduates with the math and science proficiency necessary to operate and repair computer-controlled factory equipment.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell with Google Hangouts On-Air is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
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