Last year while attending FIRST Robotics Competition events with the Firebots, I had the privilege of serving as a judge at both the Central Valley Regional and the Sacramento Regional. Judging gives an opportunity to get to know the folks involved in the competition, whether they’re students, mentors, or other volunteers. I’ve judged and volunteered at a few events now, and one of the great things to see is the way that the community builds and nurtures itself.
One of the students I met in past years, Callie, had graduated from her team, but keeps coming back as a volunteer. Callie was refereeing at both events, and shone brightly as a role model. Literally. She built an LED tiara and programmed it to light in the event colors of red, white, and blue.
That’s Callie wearing her creation, above. It is made with Adafruit Flora Neopixels, a Gemma controller and a small LiPo battery. While you don’t necessarily need an LED tiara to shine as a role model, Adafruit does have a tutorial so that you can make one, too.
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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.
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