Back to school, back to campus, back to the learning time! Here are some projects from the Adafruit Learning System that can be handy and fun if you’re headed to the dorms, looking to get a leg up in learning electronics, trying to find a quiet place to study, or hankering for a way to make new friends!
It’s pretty hard to get your hands on a Polaroid camera these days, let alone Polaroid film — but with this project you’ll be able to snap and print an instant pic of folks from the dorm with the push of a button!
“Instant photography” with Polaroid cameras was a thing up through the 1990s until ubiquitous digital photography took hold…though, like vinyl music, the medium has since made a nostalgic resurgence.
In this project, we’ll replace chemical film with more modern electronic parts: a Raspberry Pi computer and camera paired with a diminutive thermal printer, all working off a battery. Press a button, get a print!
Another thing that’s gone the way of the Polaroid camera is open flames in your dorm room. Candles banned? Here are some DIY LED candles for your room.
We planned this animated flame simply as a piece of high-tech jewelry, but other uses are possible…a fire or lantern effect on cosplay props, a safer alternative to having candles on the table or as part of a holiday display, or a unique night light for finding your way to the bathroom at night.
As you check yourself in the mirror on the way out the door you can also see the weather, read the latest headlines, and remember to get the groceries. DIY smart mirror!
Make a mirror that’s also a display! Use any Android device and some two-way mirror plastic to whip up a smart home mirror, using Hannah Mitt’s code on Github! This guide will walk you through my process of installing Hannah’s app on my Nexus 7 tablet and installing it at home.
Students do a lot of spending time in class and libraries and cafes and not a lot of hanging out at home. What might help? A power boost.
Make your own backup battery and recharge it with the sun! This is an upgrade project to our original Solar Charging Handbag and uses a PowerBoost 500 Basic, a solar lipoly charger, slide switch, and 2000mAh rechargeable battery, all housed in a 3D printed enclosure.
Sometimes you’ve got to study in a space where there’s a TV. A dorm room lounge, your living room, your brother’s room. We’ve got the solution. A great entry-level project that will let you turn off TVs far and wide, giving you some welcome silence where you can study in peace!
Language, learning, and Douglas Adams! Here’s a project that can help with all three.
Learn to make a speaking, card-reading toy! The Babel Fish helps you learn to say words and phrases on RFID flash cards by reading the card and playing an associated sound file loaded on an SD card inside. This project is very straightforward and could make a great jumping-off point for your own awesome RFID and Wave Shield project!
August is Back to School Month here at Adafruit! Each week we’ll be bringing you a two #BackToSchool posts on the blog! Stay tuned for product and gift 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, blog posts for educators and an extensive selection of books to help you learn!
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
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