During the first White House Astronomy Night in 2009, President Obama asked students, “What will your great discovery be?”
Inspiration can come from anywhere, but the mind truly expands when the eyes turn skyward and take in the vast expanse of stars and planets visible in the night sky. There was a time when setting foot on the moon was just a dream. Now, not only have we visited the moon, but we have sent robotic explorers to every other planet in our solar system – and Pluto – and are looking ahead to future missions sending American astronauts to Mars.
That inspiration is one of the many reasons why President Obama is hosting White House Astronomy Night on October 19, to encourage students to pursue education and careers in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We are bringing today’s students – and tomorrow’s engineers, scientists, and innovators – to the South Lawn of the White House to gaze at the moon and the stars, to learn through hands-on STEM activities, and to hear from astronauts and other scientists about their exciting experiences.
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.