At Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games, winners will receive gleaming gold, silver, and bronze medals–just as they always do. But thanks to an incredible initiative taking place across Japan, their precious metals will have a thoughtful heritage: They’ve been painstakingly mined from small electronics, which are mini vaults full of rare ores.
The Medal Project first kicked off in April 2017, inviting Japanese municipalities to collect e-waste for the Olympics. That plan said that phones and other small electronics would be collected locally. NTT Docomo–the country’s largest mobile phone operator–also collected devices in stores. Government-approved contractors dismantled the devices, and smelted the metals into an aggregate pile.
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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.