CIRCUIT STREETS

PIPER MAKE EDUCATOR RESOURCES SERIES

To do this project, you will need a Piper Make Starter Kit. Get yours here:

Help Pip find his friend by recreating the street they live on.

To get started, head to Piper Make and hit this icon:

Time: 90 minutes (let paint dry overnight)

Age Range: 8+

Difficulty: Beginner

In this project, students are in search of Pip's friend. The only clue they have is that the light is very dim on their street. Students will take conductive paint and create two kinds of streets, a series and a parallel, in order to figure out which of the two streets has dimmer lights.

Note: There are step by step instructions for the students to follow in the tutorials included in each project on Piper Make. These provide directions both for writing code and for building the electronic circuits. The tutorials are well-defined and most students will be able to follow them with little assistance required.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Students will:

 

  • Create quick basic commands for real world problems then link to coding concepts.
  • Understand computational thinking concepts, including algorithms, sequence of instruction, and loops.
  • Demonstrate how computer hardware and software work together as a system to accomplish tasks.
  • Review these key electronics and programming understandings:
    • wire and pin positions for specific inputs and outputs.  
    • electric flow is sensed by the computer hardware (the pin) and programmed to have an effect in software (pin code), and thus on the screen (actions occurring).
    • the computer is programmed (ie block code is written) to detect electricity going into the pin (the pin is on). The program also sends a high voltage to the pin (turn the pin on) when light is desired (a button is pressed).
  • Determine potential solutions to solve simple hardware and software problems using common troubleshooting strategies.
  • Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by light, and electric currents.

STANDARDS ALIGNMENT

CSTA's K-12 Standards 

1B-CS-01: Describe how internal and external parts of computing devices function to form a system. Subconcept: Devices; Practice 7.2

1B-CS-02: Model how computer hardware and software work together as a system to accomplish tasks. Subconcept: Hardware & Software; Practice 4.4

1B-CS-03: Determine potential solutions to solve simple hardware and software problems using common troubleshooting strategies. Subconcept: Troubleshooting; Practice 6.2

1B-AP-10: Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals. Subconcept: Control; Practice 5.2

1B-AP-11: Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process. Subconcept: Modularity; Practice 3.2

CCSS ELA

CCSS.ELA.L.W.3.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

CCSS.ELA.L.W.3.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Proficiency Standards

ELD-SI.K-3.Argue:

  • Ask questions about others’ opinions
  • Support own opinions with reasons
  • Clarify and elaborate ideas based on feedback
  • Defend change in one’s own thinking
  • Revise one’s own opinions based on new information

 

ELD-SC.2-3.Argue.Interpretive:

  • Interpret scientific arguments by
  • Identifying potential evidence from data, models, and/or information from investigations of phenomena or design solutions
  • Analyzing whether evidence is relevant or not
  • Distinguishing between evidence and opinions

California's K-12 Computer Science Standards

3-5.CS.1: Describe how computing devices connect to other components to form a system.

3-5.CS.2: Demonstrate how computer hardware and software work together as a system to accomplish tasks.

3-5.CS.3: Determine potential solutions to solve simple hardware and software problems using common troubleshooting strategies.

3-5.AP.12: Create programs that include events, loops, and conditionals.

3-5.AP.13: Decompose problems into smaller, manageable tasks which may themselves be decomposed.

Common Core English Language Arts

CCSS.ELA.L.W.3.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

CCSS.ELA.L.W.3.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

California English Language Development Standards

CA ELD.3.C.11: Supporting own opinions and evaluating others’ opinions in speaking and writing

CA ELD.3.C.12: Selecting and applying varied and precise vocabulary and language structures to effectively convey ideas

Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students (MITECS)

1B-CS-01: Describe how internal and external parts of computing devices function to form a system. Subconcept: Devices; Practice 7.2

1B-CS-02: Model how computer hardware and software work together as a system to accomplish tasks. Subconcept: Hardware & Software; Practice 4.4

1B-CS-03: Determine potential solutions to solve simple hardware and software problems using common troubleshooting strategies. Subconcept: Troubleshooting; Practice 6.2

1B-AP-10: Create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals. Subconcept: Control; Practice 5.2

1B-AP-11: Decompose (break down) problems into smaller, manageable subproblems to facilitate the program development process. Subconcept: Modularity; Practice 3.2

Michigan English Language Arts

Michigan ELA, Grade 3-8, Research, 8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

Michigan ELA, Grade 3-8, Range of Writing, 10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

WIDA English Language Development

ELD-SI.K-3.Argue:

  • Ask questions about others’ opinions
  • Support own opinions with reasons
  • Clarify and elaborate ideas based on feedback
  • Defend change in one’s own thinking
  • Revise one’s own opinions based on new information

 

ELD-SC.2-3.Argue.Interpretive:

  • Interpret scientific arguments by
  • Identifying potential evidence from data, models, and/or information from investigations of phenomena or design solutions
  • Analyzing whether evidence is relevant or not
  • Distinguishing between evidence and opinions

Science Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills

Grade 3

(b)(2) Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses scientific practices during laboratory and outdoor investigations. The student is expected to:
(A) plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking and answering questions, making inferences, and selecting and using equipment or technology needed, to solve a specific problem in the natural world;

(b)(3) Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows that information, critical thinking, scientific problem solving, and the contributions of scientists are used in making decisions.

Grade 4

(a)(1)(A) Within the physical environment, students know about the physical properties of matter including mass, volume, states of matter, temperature, magnetism, and the ability to sink or float. Students will differentiate among forms of energy including mechanical, light, sound, and thermal energy. Students will explore electrical circuits and design descriptive investigations to explore the effect of force on objects.

(b)(3) Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to make informed decisions. The student is expected to:

    (A) analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing;

    (B) represent the natural world using models such as the water cycle and stream tables and identify their limitations, including accuracy and size; and

    (C) connect grade-level appropriate science concepts with the history of science, science careers, and contributions of scientists.

Grade 5

(a)(1) In Grade 5, scientific investigations are used to learn about the natural world. Students should understand that certain types of questions can be answered by investigations and that methods, models, and conclusions built from these investigations change as new observations are made. Models of objects and events are tools for understanding the natural world and can show how systems work. They have limitations and based on new discoveries are constantly being modified to more closely reflect the natural world.

(a)(3) Recurring themes are pervasive in sciences, mathematics, and technology. These ideas transcend disciplinary boundaries and include patterns, cycles, systems, models, and change and constancy.

ELA Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills Grade 3

(b) (1)Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, discussion, and thinking--oral language. The student develops oral language through listening, speaking, and discussion. The student is expected to:

    (A) listen actively, ask relevant questions to clarify information, and make pertinent comments;

    (B) follow, restate, and give oral instructions that involve a series of related sequences of action;

    (C) speak coherently about the topic under discussion, employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, and the conventions of language to communicate ideas effectively;

    (D) work collaboratively with others by following agreed-upon rules, norms, and protocols; and

    (E) develop social communication such as conversing politely in all situations.

ELA Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills Grades 4 & 5

(b) (1)Developing and sustaining foundational language skills: listening, speaking, discussion, and thinking--oral language. The student develops oral language through listening, speaking, and discussion. The student is expected to:

    (A) listen actively, ask relevant questions to clarify information, and make pertinent comments;

    (B) follow, restate, and give oral instructions that involve a series of related sequences of action;

    (C) express an opinion supported by accurate information, employing eye contact, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, and the conventions of language to communicate ideas effectively; and

    (D) work collaboratively with others to develop a plan of shared responsibilities.

(b)(13) Inquiry and research: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student engages in both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes for a variety of purposes. The student is expected to:

    (A) generate and clarify questions on a topic for formal and informal inquiry;

    (B) develop and follow a research plan with adult assistance;

    (C) identify and gather relevant information from a variety of sources;

    (D) understand credibility of primary and secondary sources;

    (E) demonstrate understanding of information gathered;

    (F) differentiate between paraphrasing and plagiarism when using source materials;

    (G) develop a bibliography; and

    (H) use an appropriate mode of delivery, whether written, oral, or multimodal, to present results.

§74.4. English Language Proficiency Standards

(c) Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills.

(3) Cross-curricular second language acquisition/speaking.

(D) speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English words and build academic language proficiency;

(E) share information in cooperative learning interactions;

(F) ask and give information ranging from using a very limited bank of high-frequency, high-need, concrete vocabulary, including key words and expressions needed for basic communication in academic and social contexts, to using abstract and content-based vocabulary during extended speaking assignments;

(G) express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate academic topics;

(H) narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail as more English is acquired;

CONCEPTS

The project covers inputs and outputs with a repeat forever loop that turns the lights on each street.

PARTS

  • Pico and Breadboard
  • 2 red and 2 black Alligator to jumper wires
  • 4 White Lillypad LEDs
  • Conductive ink
  • Printed pages

GPIO SETUP

OVERVIEW OF STEPS

Step 1: Circuit Neighborhood

Welcome to the Circuit Neighborhood! Piperbot and Pip are looking for Pip’s old friend, but they don’t have their exact address. They only have one clue: the street is not very bright.

Can you help them figure out which street Pip's friend lives on?
Click NEXT.

Step 2: Collect your Materials

You'll need:

  • Pico and Breadboard
  • 2 red and 2 black Alligator to jumper wires
  • 4 White Lillypad LEDs

 

You'll also need:

  • The bottle of conductive ink that came with your kit
  • The printed pages shown below:

Step 3: What's the Paint?

In this tutorial, we'll be using a specific kind of paint.

It’s the small black container in your kit. The paint looks glossy. Though it’s nontoxic, be sure to not put it on your skin or eat it.

What's so special about this paint? It’s a conductive paint.

What does it mean to be “conductive”? This paint will help electricity travel.

How does it do that? Well, it's specifically composed of electrically conductive particles.

In fact, there are some cool recipes to be able to be able to make your own with metallic powders and binders (glue that holds the powder together)
Click NEXT.

Step 4: The Paint's Point

The conductive paint in this tutorial is going to be used to draw some elements of Pipercraft City.

Step 5: Take it to the Streets

Let's start by grabbing your two street tiles. You'll see them labelled as "Parallel Avenue" and "Series Street":

Step 6: Place the Lights

You'll see Lilypad LEDs in your kit, grab the white ones and place on top of the icons that you see on the sheet, oriented the right way.

There are 4 white LEDs. Depending on the circuit they are connected to, they might shine differently. You will figure out which street is the brightest and which is the dimmest.

Step 7: Paint in the Wiring

On both Parallel Avenue and Series Street, apply conductive paint along the thick white lines:
Be super careful, Don't paint over the thin white lines, and don't paint all of the way over the LED icons! if you paint over the LED instead of having it connect at two points, the electricity will just flow through that instead of through the light:

Step 8: Leave it to Dry!

Give your paint time to dry. The drier the paint, the better it is at conducting electricity. Be sure to leave it overnight. (this is important!)
Click NEXT.

Step 9: Add the Houses

While we're waiting for the paint to dry, let's go ahead and check out the neighborhood! There are some cool houses on these streets. Let's cut out the foldable cubes and fold them up as shown.

You will only need scissors for this step. Follow the directions for each building:

  1. Cut along the solid lines. First, cut along the solid black line, and then cut out the solid black rectangles. There are two big rectangles, and two very small ones that need to be cut out:
  1. Next, fold along the dotted lines:
  1. Now, fold the box inward. Use the tabs to hold your building together:
  1. This is what your buildings will look like. They should have "windows" on two sides. The light from the LED will shine through these openings:
After the boxes are assembled, feel free to cut out some building facades. Pick your favorite and attach it onto the front of the cubes.
Click NEXT.

Step 10: (Day 2) Set up Your Pico

Connect the red and black alligator clip jumper wires from your kit to clip As shown in the image below.

WARNING: Do NOT let the red and black alligator clips touch each other!

You will connect the one of the red wires from GP15 to one side of Parallel Avenue, and the red wire connected to GP14 to one side of Series Street. You then connect each of the ground wires to the other side of Series St. and Parallel Ave.

Step 11: Coding Time!

Now let's light up our streets! Write the following code for Parallel Avenue and Series Street to light up at the same time so you can compare.

Why is there an empty repeat forever block at the end of our program? This block makes the Pico keep running. If you remove it, the Pico may stop it's program, which would turn the LEDs right back off!

Click NEXT.

Step 12: Click Start

Click START to see the streets light up. Don't see any lights? Check to make sure the paint is continuous (otherwise the current can't flow from power source to ground to complete the circuit). Make sure the paint is DRY.

Compare the lights on both streets. Are they different?

Then look really closely at the lights. Are they off or dim? You might need to turn off the lights in your room and examine the LEDs again.

Step 13: Add in Your Houses

Remember those cool houses you made for Series Street and Parallel Avenue? Place them on top of the LEDs here.

Let's say there are dance parties going on inside the houses. Can you code that? Start by rearranging your blocks so they look like this:

Then, add a wait block, and blocks the turn GP15 and GP14 back off.

Then, Try running your code by clicking START.

Once you are done experimenting, click STOP, then click NEXT.

Step 14: Series Street is Dimmer!

Pip's friend lives on Series Street! Yay! Why is Series Street not as bright as Parallel Avenue?

Click NEXT to learn why.

Step 15: Prove it!

We can prove mathematically why Parallel Avenue is brighter than Series Street.

Voltage is the product of current and resistance. It’s what we get when we multiply the current of the street with its resistance.

The lights are brighter on Parallel Avenue, so it has a higher current.

This tells us that there must be something slowing down the electricity in Series Street. This is called resistance. Series Street has a lower current because it has a higher resistance. The image below shows a parallel circuit:

The next image (below) shows a series circuit. Can you figure out what could be creating a slow down of the electricity on Series Street?

Step 16: Congratulations!

Yay! We figured out which street Pip's friend lives on and why some streets aren’t as bright as others.

 

Click EXIT to return to the menu and start your next coding challenge.