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August 31, 2015 AT 12:30 am

Back to School Projects! #BackToSchool

Adafruit BackToSchool hero update

A completed school assignment is almost always paired with a sense of accomplishment. Why wait until your next assignment to make something you’re proud of? We’ve gathered some of our favorite projects that are not only fun to make, but fun to use (particularly in your new dorm room)!


Raspberry Pi NFC Minecraft Blocks: Make papercraft Minecraft blocks that interact with the world using near-field communication!

Minecraft is a fantastic game that lets you play in a virtual ‘sandbox’ to unleash your creativity and build amazing structures. The Raspberry Pi has a special version of Minecraft that can actually be controlled using the Python programming language. In this guide I’ll show you how to interact with Minecraft in a fun new way using near-field communication (NFC). By swiping a paper block against a NFC reader you can create blocks in the Minecraft world and bridge the gap between the real and virtual worlds! (read more)


ReBoots Animated LED Boot Laces: These boots are made for dancing, and that’s just what they’ll do

Glowing, animated boot laces. A sensor in each heel, watching you, weighing your every step, waiting for the opportune moment to light your stride and set your dance moves on fire. NeoPixels are glued to light pipe laces and programmed to animate and glow. Zip into the ReBoots and become the cyborg you’ve always wanted to be. (read more)


Animated Scrolling “Mario Clouds” TFT Jewelry: The peaceful background of your favorite game, now for you to wear

It’s 8-bit retro Mario Clouds! It’s so tiny and cute, you can wear it! In this project, we’re making Cory Arcangel-inspired Super Mario jewelry using 3D printing and DIY electronics. (read more)


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RasPi – Animated GIF Picture Frame: How else can you see cats doing the wobble on your desk?

Who hasn’t wanted their own animated GIFs to play in a private desk museum? The future is now! Build this desktop Raspberry Pi picture frame to display animated GIFs in a slideshow on a color 2.8″ TFT, in Chromium kiosk mode. (read more)


Cup o’ Sound: Cafe White Noise Machine

Bring the productive bustle of ambient coffee shop sounds with you anywhere by building a white noise machine in a cup! This project uses the Adafruit Audio FX Board to play a 30 minute audio file on repeat. The circuit is battery powered with the help of a lipoly backpack, which also allows for convenient recharging over USB and the easy addition of a power switch. A speaker rests inside the lip of the cup, driven by a class D audio amplifier using a 10K potentiometer for volume control. (read more)


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Create an Infrared Controlled Mouse with Arduino Micro, Leonardo, or Yun: Walk away from the laptop during your PowerPoint presentation with this IR controlled mouse.

In this tutorial we’re going to use the mouse and keyboard emulation abilities of a variety of Arduino devices combined within infrared receiver to make a remote control mouse with some keyboard commands thrown in for good measure. (read more)


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NeoMatrix 8×8 Word Clock: using the NeoPixel NeoMatrix 8×8 to power a word clock!

Are you fascinated with the passage of time? Do you want a stylish, modern and functional timepiece to add to your clock collection? The word clock is a one-of-a-kind time telling device, using a grid of letters to spell out the time. While you could spend thousands of dollars on other versions of this idea, this project is an inexpensive and quick way to build one for yourself. (read more)


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Pocket Galaxy: A blackhole in your pocket 🙂

The Pocket Galaxy is a small, 3d printed infinity mirror using NeoPixel leds & see-through acrylic mirrors. It makes a fun desk accessory, and a LiPoly battery and charger keep it blinking on the go. (read more)


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Wireless Inductive Power Night Light: Nikola Tesla approved!

Every time I hear about wireless power systems, or see a wireless charger in action, it feels like some sort of crazy magic. The idea of harnessing an electromagnetic field to produce enough power to even glow an LED is amazing to me. (read more)


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Audio FX Remote Control: Press a button, make a sound OVER THERE.

Sometimes, press a button, make a sound over there would be just the thing. This project shows how to add a wireless remote control to the Audio FX Board. It’s great for Halloween pranks, cosplay outfits and other shenanigans, or maybe you want to design the whoopee cushion of the future. (read more)


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August is Back to School Month here at Adafruit! Each day we’ll be bringing you a post for educators on the blog. Stay tuned for product guides, tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System, and inspiration from around the web! Get started by checking out Adafruit’s educational resources, such as our kits and project packs, suggested products for young engineers, and an extensive selection of books to help you learn!


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