Wizarding 101 - Summer Camp programs using the ATTiny

Back in May, we received an unsolicited e-mail from an engineer at Qualcomm in Raleigh. For their “Take your Kids to Work Day,” he volunteered to teach an Introduction to Microcontrollers class for kids 12 and older. He chose to call it “Wizarding 101” - taking a quote from Arthur C. Clark, “because any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

He fab'ed up a small board with an ATTiny85, 4 LEDs, and a push button - and a 10 pin header so that he could use a USBasp programmer to program it.

Dimensions: 0.753x 0.67 inches (19.1262x 17.018 mm)

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They scavenged old laptops from their IT department so that they had one setup for every 2 kids. Similar to our own curriculum, they started with making a single light blink. They extended this concept of lights and immediate feedback to teach logic and an introduction to programming.

They had 3 hours of class and the time flew by. By the end of the class, kids were writing their own functions and blinking SOS when the button was pressed.

They used (OSHPark)[http://oshpark.com/] to build their boards, and the total cost ended up at around $6 per child.

PowerPoint Materials from class

Eagle Files: toc2wd_v4.sch, toc2wd_v4.brd



Comments 2 comments

  • peterpalacios79 -

    Yep - it is that easy. You have to copy over a couple board definition files for the ATTiny85, but you can access all of the pins through the Arduino IDE.

    Check out MIT’s High-Low Tech site: http://hlt.media.mit.edu/?p=1695 for more info…

  • I was wondering…

    Did you upload the programs onto the ATtiny85 using the Arduino IDE and simply connecting the USBasp to the ATtiny85? Was it that simple? If it was, I’ve gotta try this.

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