In this issue’s cover story, Jason G. Goldman covers a massive research study of 20,000 individuals in England that found that 120 minutes spent in nature every week proffered marked benefits in health and mental wellness (see “The Nature Cure”). While the scale of such an undertaking makes the work significant, the results are likely to be met by some societies with little surprise. Take Denmark, where for more than half a century families have sent their children as young as three years old to so-called forest kindergarten to forgo classroom curriculum and play and explore each day outdoors, no matter the weather. Some research has shown that those kids get sick less often, can concentrate better and have improved motor skill development. Perhaps this latest finding won’t spur the creation of “forest universities” or, sadly, “forest workplaces,” but if ever there was a case to get outside and commune with nature, this is it.
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.