A most magical Hour of Code with littleBits

These beginner to advanced resources will turn anyone into a coding wizard

December 5, 2016

Join millions of people worldwide who will spend an Hour of Code learning how to program, a partnership between Computer Science Education Week and Code.org.

We’ve curated a collection of learning activities so you can participate at home, in school, or at your makerspace. All of these inventions guide you through each step so you can easily adapt them for your learning space. You can start with the beginner challenge from maker librarian Colleen Graves, then move on to the Nerdy Teacher’s more advanced challenge, the In or Out Sign. Save the screen time for later – working with physical objects to learn abstract computing principles is key to addressing all the learning styles in your classroom.

Are you participating in the littleBits Magic of Invention Challenge? Or are you hosting a Global Invent-a-thon workshop from Dec 9 – 11? Use these resources to hold an Hour of Code and Global Invent-a-thon workshop all in one!

 

spell

BEGINNER: Hour of Code: Invent your own spell by lizabits (no Arduino Bit required)
This set of beginner activities will get your students thinking about algorithms – a fancy word for a set of instructions to accomplish a task – and the importance of sequencing. Giving your students a solid foundation in these concepts will help them (and you!) develop a more concrete understanding of coding logic before tackling more abstract concepts like variables, loops, and syntax.

 

colleen

BEGINNER: Hacking Arduino Sketches by colleengraves
Writing code from scratch can terrify even the most advanced coder – which is why they rarely do it! Hacking preexisting code is one of the best ways to start learning how to program. It makes it easy to learn by doing: you can tinker around with values to see what happens and get a fuller idea of how the system works. From the inventor herself:

Arduino is a powerful microcontroller, but learning to breadboard and write code simultaneously can be complicated for a beginner. Which is why I LOVE the Arduino Bit! With a little coding, you’ll be able to program your Bits to blink, bloop, or move in time to music. Once you learn how to write programs for Arduino, the Bit world is your oyster! (Okay- I may be exaggerating a bit… get it? a bit?)

In this project, you’ll learn a little more about Arduino coding and learn to hack example sketches. Don’t know what a sketch is? In the Arduino world, it’s just another word for program. Now you know! Let’s get started!

 

BEGINNER: Keyboard Prank by RonDagdag

Prank your friends with Littlebits Arduino. Every 15 seconds, this program would press backspace and replace it with a smiley face. Hide it behind the computer or monitor, plug this to the USB port and enjoy! To disable/reprogram, disconnect wire or press the button. WARNING: This program can mess up someone’s work. Proceed with caution

 

nerdyteacher

INTERMEDIATE: In or Out Sign by The Nerdy Teacher
See if you can remix this into a Sorting Hat:

With a push of a button, you can let anyone know if you are In or Out of the room. This could be used for Office Hours or even for students who leave the room to use the bathroom. The arrow and the light will let people know who is in and who is out.

 

INTERMEDIATE: LittleBits Lissajous Curve Generator by 3DPrintingGirls

This littleBits project generates Lissajous curves taken from the idea of the Etch-a-sketch project that comes in the LittleBits Arduino starter kit.

 

cardboardjackpot

ADVANCED: Cardboard Jackpot Game by JackANDJude
Reaction time is key for any wizard worth her galleons. Better start practicing!

Test your reaction time and win REAL MONEY when you play Cardboard Jackpot. Press the button when the bargraph shines red to advance to the next round until you win 3 rounds and earn the Jackpot prize! This invention uses Bits and accessories from the Arduino Coding Kit, plus cardboard, balsa wood sticks, and a pen.

 


ADVANCED: HALF-ADDER: A “littleBit” of Arithmetic by RichB

At the very least, one would expect that any computer should be able to add two numbers.  With the logic modules this becomes a reality!  We humans think in decimal—base ten, with digits 0 through 9—probably as a result of the fact that we have ten fingers. Computers, on the other hand, do all of their internal work in binary—base two, with the digit 0 representing OFF and 1 representing ON.  In this lesson, you will learn how to create a circuit that can add two bits.  This circuit is known as a HALF ADDER.

 

BEGINNER TO ADVANCED: Introduction to Arduino by syedbits
This is a set of seven lessons designed to introduce you to all the ins and outs (no pun intended!) of Arduino, then get you inventing all sorts of fun games and creations. If you’re looking for a deeper dive, I highly recommend this one.

 

droids

BEGINNER TO ADVANCED: Bit Wars Coding Activities
This is a set of scaffolded activities designed three activities for different levels and styles of learning. You can use multiple kits and Bits to create them. You can also keep it simple and use a few LEDs or motors and a pink input.

 

Liza Stark
Sr. Manager of Learning + Engagement