Session Title:  
Beeps, Squeaks and LEDS, Oh My!
Learn about microprocessors (little baby computers that can turn stuff on and off... and more!) Play with actual microprocessor kits and build fun stuff! Leave excited and with possible tools to engage kids through the hidden education, math, and computer science inside building your own toys, robots, gadgets, and gizmos!

Image of picaxe safety light microprocessor kit

Presented By: Byron Ferguson 
Campers Should Pack:
  • Essential Toolkit: Laptop optional - opportunity to run a virtual microprocessor on your own windows computer.
    • Sense of humor, fun, and adventure!  Let's have a good time!
  • Energize: Trail Mix (or preferred snack)  Little chocolate bars accepted by presenter as tips!
  • Refresh: Water Bottle (make sure it has a lid)
  • Knowledge: Don't forget your brain (be ready to collaborate)!
Session Objectives:
  • Get a basic overview of different multiprocessor development platforms (programming tiny baby computers to turn stuff on and off!)
  • Learn about programming multiprocessors- and the type of projects that multiprocessors can enable
    • Science fair projects
    • Toys
    • Inventions
    • Gifts
    • Fun Stuff
  • As teams complete hands-on labs using two different microprocessor development systems
  • Try-out a microprocessor virtual simulator
  • Leave with an intro level understanding of microprocessors and how to utilize kits for in class learning
Session Agenda:
  1. Welcome / Introductions (5 minutes)
  2. Learn about microprocessors (10 minutes)
  3. Learn about two inexpensive entrys into learning (and teaching) microprocessors (10 minutes)
  4. Warm up "Labs" (30 - 45  minutes)
    1. Blink an LED!
      1. Blink and LED in DEBUG mode!
    2. Blink a couple LEDS!  
      1. Together
      2. Separately
    3. Read a button- blink an LED!
      1. Sometimes
    4. Try your hand at electronics!  Solder something!
  5. Build something Lab (45 minutes)
    1. Teams will program and build 
        1. A safety light
        2. A simple clock
    2. Try out some custom changes to the standard kit!  (play time!)
  6. Discussion (10 minutes)
    1. What do you wish you could build?
    2. What would kids like to build?
    3. Ideas: Examples of things others have built!
  7. Closing
    1. Debrief
    2. Feedback
    3. Fill out the Survey
Session Resources:

  •  ; china products
  • ; electronic baubbles and kits
  • ; electronic components
  • ; kits 

  • Project ideas