I'm back from my maternity and so excited to be back in the swing of things! This year we have a new (part-time) STEAM TOSA, Sherry Burch, and I am thrilled to have partner to collaborate with!
One of the first projects that we worked on together was a Saturday STEAM Academy class with the Piper Kits! We had gotten the Piper Kits through Donors Choose, with the majority of the funding coming from Groupware. Sherry had her STEAM class build the laser-cut, wooden Piper boxes, which she said was both challenging and fun for the kids, as some of them had never used a screwdriver before.
As part of the introductory Minecraft programming lessons in the Piper Kit, students use a Raspberry Pi to build the controls for their computer. They first worked with a partner to connect jumper wires to buttons to be their up, down, left, and right controls. They also problem solved to create circuits operate buzzers, LED lights, and switches to truly bring their computers to life.
At the end of the class, students were so proud to have literally built their own computers!