Although miles of suburban sprawl surrounded us, complex environmental processes were constantly occurring all around us. They were just a little difficult to see. I decided to shift the focus of the course from simply “What is the environment?” to, “How do we study our environment?” Using parts primarily from Adafruit Industries, I made an environmental sensor. Temperature, humidity, light level, and ozone concentration data were collected using the DHT22 sensor, a photo cell, and Futurlec’s MQ131 gas sensor. A Boarduino and Xbee got our sensors talking to our school server and a 6V solar panel powered the beast. Everything fit nicely into an Otterbox and some Sugru provided stability and weatherproofing.
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, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, 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.
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