One of the first things many STEM programs have to decide is who its audience will be. Maybe they are looking to provide new opportunities to underserved populations in the local community. Maybe they are trying to find environmentally concerned middle schoolers from across the country to shape into a league of citizen scientists. Maybe they are challenging tech-savvy teens worldwide to identify the next great minds in robotics. Programs can foster competitions, collaborations, roles for mentors, or a chance to be mentored. It is a broad landscape of approaches taking every shape, size, and perspective. But in many cases, isolated programs with even the most inspiring potential only last as long as the lone, passionate leader stays at the helm – or until the initial round of funding runs out. The STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative is working to counter that trend by bringing together local, regional, and state STEM Learning Ecosystems from across the country to build a national community of practice.
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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