Valerie L. Thomas was born in May of 1943 in Maryland. She was fascinated with technology as a very young child. At age eight her curiosity about how things worked inspired her to borrow a book called “The Boy’s First Book On Electronics,” which she took home hoping her father would help her take on some of the projects in it. After all, he liked to tinker with radios and television sets. But he did not help her.
Thomas attended an all-girls high school that did not help her, either. At the time, scientific subjects were not considered important or suitable for women. So, no one encouraged Thomas to take the advanced math classes that were offered at her school, and she continued to look up her technological aptitude as more of a curiosity than anything else.
This changed in college, when Thomas enrolled at Morgan State University as one of only two women in her class to major in physics. She was an excellent student, and soon she had acquired the knowledge of mathematics that led her to a position as a mathematical/data analyst for NASA.
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.