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National Geographic: Costa Rican park rangers use the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express #MakeCode #CircuitPlaygroundExpress #Education #Adafruit @NatGeo

Rangers learn Microsoft MakeCode on the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express

Neat news from National Geographic stationed on Coco’s Island, a National Park of Costa Rica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a biological cauldron, known for its biodiversity, its endemic species, and for having a cloud forest that exist at the lowest altitude anywhere in the world.

The Island is an extremely remote place and is only inhabited by the Park Rangers that study and maintain it, and for a handful of researchers and even fewer tourist, both allowed only for short periods.

Reef monitoring is an almost daily task for the Rangers, who do manual species count in short dives limited by depth and the type of diving gear and having to spend time planning the immersions and boat resources which also assist in fighting illegal fishing.

Ranger Moisés Gómez is part of a training by Greencore Solutions where he receives an introduction to programming and microelectronics, in which after a few training session will allow the Ranger community and science researchers to design and build their own sensors and technological tools to make the job more efficient and to save resources.

In this session we planned several collaboration projects between Greencore and Coco’s Island with time to spare for using a Circuit Playground Express from Adafruit, and using the programming language Microsoft MakeCode, we managed to connect a relay to control electronic devices such as lights and pumps, to read from a float sensor use to control the water level in fish tanks but also to measure tides and flooding events to prepare better for climate change.

The content for the class has been published under a content license that promotes sharing and collaboration called Creative Commons, so feel free to take this training as well in the following link on GitHub:

Introduction to Programming for Park Rangers

See more in this National Geographic article and the info on the entire expedition. Well done!

Go to learn.adafruit.com to learn more about both Microsoft MakeCode and the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express.


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.

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