Monthly Archives: October 2015

Scripting with Python for Arduino

I had to learn on programming the Arduino for producing two square signals that operated in different frequencies and at the same time, had to perform a duty sweep along with a Frequency sweep. The Arduino had a machine level commands of nop; No Operation command, given directly to the required pins. Each nop has a time period of 62.5ns and manually doing each frequency seemed to be a time consuming process. Then scripting the a python code that could take inputs of Frequency and duty cycle and produce a .ino file that the Arduino reads was super efficient, files were created instantly. but i faced another issue my files contained periods in the files name i had to debug cause Arduino does not accept periods in its file names. Following is the script file that i converted into an executable using pyinstaller.

PrintArduinoDuty

Water

Water was our next Source to explore, we had a few hours together on brainstorming of what water is and what do we use it for. Then came the talk about with what does water mix or what gets dissolved in water… the children came with many interesting ideas such as water and oil cant mix,… Then a girl said that is not possible how do we then wash our dishes? on the following day the some of the children brought to school oil and dish soap and detergents.. We had loads of fun trying to mix water and oil and shake shake shake but whatever amount of shake they returned to their original state separated. then a little dish soap and detergent did the magic… 🙂

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The children concluded that non-liking liquids; water and oil, can be made to like each other with the help of dish soap for some time and this is what happens when they wash their lunch plates clean of oil.

Another Battery Model Using Water…..

The following class a similar battery model was shown and the children figured out on how to connect the rods ( Cu and Zn ) so that electricity could flow from one bottle to another and so on until the terminals reached the led tower, thus building a small battery unit to power the led up. the children found out that the rods should be kept in series manner to achieve the working of the experiment. They also noted that the copper rods colour was fading eventually with time.

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Building a Battery model

The sixth grade children are super interested when you do something new in class, that’s what happened when we all together build battery models using lemon, copper and zinc rods to produce sufficient electricity to turn on a led 😉 and a digital watch.

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Disentanglement Puzzles with the Sixth Graders

At Stem Land we have a huge collection of disentanglement puzzles, and the students decide that they had to figure them out. The atmosphere was covered with low conversations and sudden bursts of joy, suddenly a child will be ‘like  yeah i figured it out’ Then the part came when you would become confused again, in order to put it back together the same way it was. This was the tricky part 😉 .

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The children and their teacher really enjoyed solving together, so did I 🙂 .

Building a miniature Catapult

Along with a Sixth Grader, who was interested in medieval times, and so came the thought of building a miniature catapult with him. It consisted of blocks and nylon ropes that acted as the torsional element.

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DSC_0763after building it, he tried a few test fires and realised that the distance covered by the load (wooden Ball) was not as expected.

Then a few more twists were added to the rope and the Catapult started to really acquire a huge range in its firing capacity.

When i was a little shorter and a little smaller 😉  ‘Age of Empires’  is what i was into during my week ends.

This was a really beautiful refresher along with Ablilash 🙂 to physically build and learn how the catapult was used to haul heavy pay loads over a distance during sieges in the middle ages.

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Alice in STEMLAND

Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.

The 8th and 9th grade children have started to use this program. As they are quite familiar to Scratch programming, they should get the nuances of Alice also. They have not made anything substantial yet as they have been playing around with Alice only for the past 2 classes. They seem eager to learn and are liking it also. So, they should be doing something interesting over the week!

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9th Grade Children. From left : Ajith, Sathish, Nandha, Aadhavan

Ref : http://www.alice.org/index.php?page=what_is_alice/what_is_alice

STEM land Inauguration

We inaugurated the STEM land on 9th October 2015. It was one of my awesome moment in my life. I learnt a lot in that period( like organizing the materials, maintaining the STEM books, planning for inauguration and 3D printing).

STEM land inauguration started with lighting ‘floating candles’ followed by small speech on STEM.

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Isai Ambalam & Udavi school students were put stalls on Robots, Puzzles, Strategy games, ,  Measurement equipments, 3D printer, Fraction kits, Scratch programming  & Arduino  programming. “Well beginning is half done“.

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