Simon’s creative “remix” of example 2.7 from Daniel Shiffman’s The Nature of Code, Chapter 2 (Forces).
Digisnacks, an electronica course at Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, has started again. This time it’s Lego Mindstorms 2. Simon didn’t follow the Lego Mindstorms 1 course but studied how the set works via a couple of YouTube tutorials. It’s a course for 10-14 olds 😉
Simon has nearly completed the basic equations and inequalities course on Khan Academy.
Every time his math teacher comes they solve a couple of inequalities from the course and what happens next is that Simon goes over to his desktop to check his answers in the “Inequalities machine” he programmed! He often has to change the program to fit a new inequality format, so it takes some time. Luckily the math teacher understands how awesome this is. I also think it’s the first time Simon has really programmed something for practical use!
This is how Simon solves the inequalities, by typing them:
Testing the answer in the “Inequalities Machine”:
The original “Inequalities Machine” Simon programmed back in February:
Simon programmed this beautiful rainbow all by himself in Processing (Java). He went to http://clrs.cc/ (also a http://mrmrs.io/ project) to look for the hexadecimals and then used http://html-color-codes.info/ to translate the hexadecimals into RGB codes.
Explaining how it works to sis:
Simon is a big fan of w3schools.com and has been using their w3.js library for these exercises. In the first video he shows a sort table he made. By pressing the arrows the places listed are put in alphabetical order. he borrowed the text from w3schools and drew the arrows and the background himself in Microsoft Paint.
He also buit a search engine:
A sort list. Before the “Sort” button is pressed:
After the button is pressed:
Adding colour to id:
Hiding and showing elements:
Simon’s “painting” in Processing that he named Output.png, resembling a painting by the Dutch writer and artist Jan Wolkers.
We made a talking poster with Bare Conductive paint and touch board today:
The poster on the wall next to Simon’s room:
This is how we made it. We taped a stencil to a large sheet of white paper and applied the conductive paint, then waited for the paint to dry.
While waiting, we loaded several mp3 files on to the MicroSD card that came with the touch board. Simon made sure the files were named in the right order, to correspond to the correct electrodes on the touch board. We found the sound files at FreeSound.org:
Simon placed the MiscroSD back into the touch board:
We carefully removed the stencil, this was the result:
We attached the touch board and the speaker to the poster, then cold soldered the holes in the electrodes with conductive paint.
Let it dry and turn the power on!
Simon loves the conductive paint. After we finished making the Bare Conductive Voltage Village kit (previous post), he made two circuits, parallel and series, on his own without and help on my behalf. He did use weak AAA batteries first, so it didn’t work. When I told him he should switch to the 9V batteries, his circuits started to shine!
This is Simon’s parallel circuit:
And this is a series circuit:
On Sunday Simon found a Bare Conductive electric paint set in his shoe. Sinterklaas knows exactly what Simon wants! Today we tried cold soldering for the first time! The project involved building a paper house that would gradually light up as it gets darker in the room.
Besides the light sensor (or a Light Dependent Resistor), the circle also incorporated a transistor, a resistor and two LEDs.
It was quite difficult to keep all the components in place while the electric paint was still wet.
The waiting was enduring.
Tried blowing on the paint to make it dry:
Finally, the fun part: drawing the circuit:
The roof of the house on the inside:
Simon loved the effect of the gradual lighting up – when first placed in a dark room we saw almost no light but when we came back a couple hours later the house looked magical. Simon cuddled with it, took the roof off and reviewed the circuit again and again, and put the house next to his bed when falling asleep. I think we’d want to crawl inside of it if he could.
During his latest Digisnacks class at the Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool in Antwerp Simon fell in love. He told me this in English (don’t mind the wrong grammar): “Mom, I fell in love so deep!” With what? – I asked (knowing it’s not “with whom” yet in Simon’s case). – Lego WeDo!
He has since then downloaded pdf’s and the Lego WeDo 2.0 software and has been studying them thoroughly, hoping that Sinterklaas will give him the 2.0 set shortly.