Greetings from Adam Kemp, educator of future engineers!
First off, I would like to thank PT and Limor for the chance to post to the blog, this is an awesome opportunity.
I teach three high school courses in Energy Systems and am an avid developer/enjoyer of open source hardware, primarily Arduino based. Each of my courses focus on physics principles pertaining to energy (primarily electrical and mechanical) and reinforces them through in-depth lab projects that physically demonstrate the math. I really like the students to break out of theory and get their hands dirty with a lab, such as dissecting, measuring and reassembling internal combustions or making bio-fuel.
Over the past two years, I have integrated two Makerbots (a Cupcake and a Thing-o-Matic) into my curriculum, which the students have avidly been using to produce everything from compressed gas jet engine nozzles to hubs for scale wind turbines. I have also installed a 50watt Epilog Helix 24, which has been priceless in the design of shiftable gearboxes, enclosures, etc.
Some of my open source projects include:
ArduSat, an Arduino based motherboard for what is to be historys first high school designed and built cubesat, TJ3Sat (www.tj3sat.wikidot.com)
The VEXMAS shield, a joint endeavor with my good friend and fellow tinkerer Charles delaCuesta, which creates an interface between Arduino and ALL of the VEX hardware (http://code.google.com/p/vexmas-shield/)
The Kilroy board, a Arduino compatible PICAXE 20X2 based development board that we use at the high school to teach 500+ freshman how to program and interface with hardware.
In contributing to the Adafruit blog, I would like to make as much of my expertise available to the community as possible and look forward to hear your questions, comments, complaints, etc.
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.