Open Source lab instruments for students with Adafruit parts #PiDay #Education @GearsAndGenes @Raspberry_Pi

In Issue 19 of HelloWorld magazine for educators, Sidharta Vadaparty describes how he builds open-source lab instruments that facilitate discovery-based STEM learning for older students.

My goal is to democratize STEM learning through open-source, affordable, portable, and modifiable hardware and software, giving students full control to explore concepts. To achieve this goal, I started a company, GearsNGenes, as a high-school freshman ( Over the years, I have built scientific devices using products from Adafruit Industries and Raspberry Pi.

In this article, I discuss two of my devices that enable hands-on learning in linear kinematics and electromagnetism, the FEATURE bookends of standard physics curricula. Documentation of these devices is publicly available on the GearsNGenes website (, GitHub (, YouTube (, and Instructables (

Two open source instruments are presented in the article – a Kinemeter built around an Adafruit ESP32 Feather and an EMF meter with Raspberry Pi and an Adafruit ADS1115 sensor.

You can learn more about these efforts as follows:

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, 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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