Circuitry and Electronics Level 3: Littlebits Solutions

Skill Level: Level 3

Badges Earned: Electronics and Circuitry Level 3

Description: Now that you’ve had a chance to create your own circuits, it’s time to build a solution, using Littlebits parts and circuits. Littlebits are snap together circuits, but they can really be “amped” up to create solutions for many problems. We’re going to use Littlebits to create something original and amazing that: solves a problem. 

Start by taking a look at some of these projects. Find a few that you like:

http://littlebits.cc/projects 

Option 1: Fork a project. 

Forking a project, is taking a previous project, but then modifying and building on it, to create something that is completely your own. Like any research project, you need to give credit to original authors of the project. Remember to fill out a challenge proposal and start defining your problem. 

Option 2: Build your own idea.

You can certainly have been “inspired” by some of the above projects, but if you want to create something totally your own with Littlebits- that’s your second option. Remember to also fill out a challenge proposal.

What’s a good problem to solve? 

Remember that specific problems = specific audiences. Solving boredom is never a real problem, but creating, say, a mechanical pencil someone those people who might need assistance is. 

Time to completion:  No more than three weeks. 

How long should this project take you? This Littlebits project should take you a maximum of three weeks. Remember to create something to challenge yourself. Create lofty goals. Aim high.

NOTE: Can you think about creating something that has a different design? Is there a way you can improve the design? If so, document that in your process.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final joint, and get an instructor to visually check out your joint, if you can. Create a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Circuitry and Electronics 2: Circuit Practice

Skill Level: Level 2

Badges Earned: Electronics and Circuitry Level 2

Description: In order to build more complex machines, we have to know how machines work. Most of them run on electricity! If you’ve seen and heard of people creating motors from pieces of copper, but haven’t actually done it, now you can!

Before you create anything, fill out a Challenge Proposal.

You may choose one of the two projects below: 

Your Own DC Motor:

Use these instructions below. We have magnets and copper, but you might need to get a few household items. It’s pretty cool.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-dc-motor-with-forwardreverse-and-self-start/

Once you’ve created this, think about something your motor could power or move. Can your design be any different or improved?

5 Minute DIY Motor

This one is simple, you could probably do it in a class period. The only think I would add to it is- can you make it move or do anything? Even if it’s so simplistic.

http://www.instructables.com/id/5-Minute-DIY-Motor/

NOTE: Can you think about creating something that has a different design? Is there a way you can improve the design? If so, document that in your process.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final joint, and get an instructor to visually check out your joint, if you can. We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

 

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Next- now why not put those skills to good use! Go create something that requires some basic soldering, like this project below:

Basic Flashlight

 

Circuitry and Electronics 1: Motors and Electricity

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Skill Level: Level 1

Badges Earned: Circuitry Level 1

Description: In order to create any project involving a PCB, wire, or anything of depth, you’re going to need some basic skills. You’ll also want to have some soldering skills. Below are two projects that will get you started on creating some cool products, that shouldn’t take very long.

Complete ONE of the 2 projects below for beginning circuitry: 

HANG ON! Before you do these projects, it’s highly recommended you get your Soldering Badge #1 first. Go here:

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The Pizza Box Circuit:

This project uses some basic elements to create a basic circuit using cardboard, brads, and some LEDs. It’s fun!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Simple-Circuit-from-a-Pizza-Box-No-Solder/

Copper Tape Circuit 

This is a basic project that’s fun, and uses some basic soldering skills. Before you do this- get your Level 1 Soldering badge first! Then come back here and you’ll have TWO badges!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Circuit-with-Copper-Tape/

NOTE: Can you think about creating something that has a different design? Does the layout of the LEDs make a difference? Try it and make this project your own.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final joint, and get an instructor to visually check out your joint, if you can. We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Next- now why not put those skills to good use! Go create something that requires some basic soldering, like this project below:

Basic Flashlight

 

Soldering: Level 2: Surface Mount Practice

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Skill Level: Level 2

Badges Earned: Soldering Level 2

Description: This should be a good exercise for you to practice your surface mounts. For soldering level 2, you’re going to solder your initials into a small piece of PCB. That way we’ll know you did the work, and we’re looking for minimal errors. Links to get started:

Continue with the next part of the this article on Adafruit:

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guide-excellent-soldering/surface-mount

Now, take a sample PCB and solder your initials into it like so:

Mount example

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final joint, and get an instructor to visually check out your joint, if you can. Create a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Next- now why not put those skills to good use! Go create something that requires some basic soldering, like this project below:

Basic Flashlight

 

 

 

 

Soldering: Level 1: Build a Makey Robot and Earn a Badge!

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Skill Level: Level 1

Badges Earned: Soldering Basic

Description: To earn Soldering 1, you”ll need to watch a short video, and build Makey Robot. He only requires a couple of soldering points, but you won’t get him to work if you do it wrong!

Fill out a Challenge Proposal. 

Steps to get accomplished: 

First thing’s first. Read this and watch the video all the way through (with headphones). It’s a great overview from Adafruit on soldering.

Next, read this article all the way through. It has extremely helpful soldering tips and coverage.

Next, read parts II and III on preparation and making a good soldering joint. Both of these really will help prepare you for being a great solderer.

Get your Makey Robot Kit and follow the instructions on this page. The instructions also are actually written right on the robot. 

http://makezine.com/projects/maker-faire-2012-electronic-skill-badge/

They’re pretty thorough. Before you solder, make sure to get a fellow maker to check out your soldering station for safety.

Some tips along the way: Take pictures of your final joint, and get an instructor to visually check out your joint, if you can. We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges. Only needs to be about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done, earn your badge!

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Next- now why not put those skills to good use! Go create something that requires some basic soldering, like this project below:

Basic Flashlight

Circuitry Level 1: Create a Light Activated Car

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Skill Level: Littlebits Basic (Level 1)

Badges Earned: Circuitry Level 1, Littlebits Level 1

Description: To earn these skills, we’re going to rely on a great step by step activity from Littlebits. This activity has basic circuitry, no soldering is necessary.

Link to project: Light Activated Car 

Fill out a Challenge Proposal: Design Thinking Challenge Template. 

Some tips along the way: Always document your process. Take pictures and video, if you can. Why? We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to receive numerous badges.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done. you’ll earn the badges below!

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Extend Your Learning! 

Add a Makey Makey component to your project! Create a Makey Makey controller for your car!

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Circuitry Level 1: Create a Basic Flashlight

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Skill Level: Basic (Level 1)

Badges Earned: Soldering 1 and Circuitry Level 1

Description: To earn these skills, we’re going to rely on a great step by step activity from Instructables. This activity has basic wiring skills and soldering skills that should be good practice for creating some simple circuits.

Link to project: A Better Altoids Smalls LED Flashlight.

Fill out a Challenge Proposal: Design Thinking Challenge Template. 

Some tips along the way: Always document your process. Take tons of pictures and video, if you can. Why? We suggest creating a “demo video” of all of your projects. Why? They can be used as evidence of completion. One demo video can be enough evidence to  for numerous badges.

Earn Your Badges:  When you’re done. you’ll earn the badges below!

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Extend Your Learning! Create a website with a logo, brand, and shopping option for those “customers” who want to purchase your product. Take it to the next level! Do this and earn these badges:

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