Fun with NeoPixels!

 I was fortunate to attend a workshop on using Neopixels with conductive thread. My wonderful colleague, friend and ‘Makerspace’ guru, Anne Weaver, told me about the workshop which was held at HSBNE ….Hacker Space Brisbane. This is a community-operated physical space where people with common interests can enjoy socialising, collaborating in computer, science, technology ‘things’.

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Anna Gerber, an amazing software engineer, led the session and provided us with kits to transform an item into something special!

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We first had to download the relevant software to use the microcontrollers ATTiny85, similar in appearance to Gemma, and the relevant Arduino programs which we would be using.

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Anna very clearly explained circuitry and planning a pathway for our Neopixels…..and then the fun began!

We used conductive thread to connect the Neopixels to the ATTiny85 mirco-controller and then loaded pre-programmed code from Arduino so our Neopixels would come to life! Further sensors, like switches and buttons, can also be added into the pathway.

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This is definetly an activity I will be including in our Makerspace. We have used conductive thread and copper tape with LED’s but the NeoPixels are available in rings, singles and strips as shown in the image of the cap….love the emoji!

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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!

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