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Maker Kits and Activities

Page history last edited by Soraya Lacerda 4 years, 10 months ago


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Willing to collaborate, ask for support, give feedback? Send an email to daniela.lyra@ctjonline.com or join our facebook group.



Low-cost kits

Order kits in Brazil here


Electric car
























DIY Circuit Boards

The Circuit boards are real electrical parts mounted on sturdy wood blocks designed for anyone (at almost any age) to start creating electrical connections between everyday objects like batteries, bulbs, buzzers, switches, and other electrical components, using alligator clips. They are very similar to the LittleBits, but with a difference: they are low cost, since you can make them from scratch with used toys and electric parts, or very inexpensive components.


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Get to know a little more about CTJ experience with circuit boards: http://courses.thomas.org.br/makerspace/bigbits/


Maker Kits





Hour of Code [http://code.org/learn]
Learn the basic concepts of Computer Science with drag and drop programming. This is a game-like, self-directed tutorial starring video lectures by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. Learn repeat-loops, conditionals, and basic algorithms. Available in 34 languages. Can be used with desktop browser, tablets and smartphones.

Scratch [http://scratch.mit.edu/ - teens and adults]; [http://scratchjr.org/ - children]
Scratch allows students to program animations, games, and videos through a visual interface. Students create their programs by dragging together blocks that represent movements and functions on their screens. The blocks snap together to help students see how the "if, then" logic of programming works. If you haven't seen Scratch before, watch the short overview in the video below. Note:  Good documentation (Getting Started guide, cards, video tutorials) and curriculum guides (see Educators section and they are translated too!).

Snap! [http://byob.berkeley.edu/Notes:  uses web browser so works on most device (desktops, iPads, android tablets, etc)
Snap! is a drag-and-drop programming interface designed to help students learn to program. Snap! uses a visual interface that works in your browser on your laptop as well as on your iPad. To design a program in Snap! drag commands into a sequence in the scripts panel. The commands are represented by labeled jigsaw puzzle pieces that snap together to create a program. You can try to run your program at any time to see how it will be executed. After previewing your program you can go back and add or delete pieces as you see fit.
The MIT App Inventor allows students to create and publish their own Android applications. The MIT App Inventor works in your web browser (Chrome is recommended). The only download that is required for App Inventor 2 is the optional emulator for simulating on a desktop. MIT provides excellent support documentation and curriculum for classroom use for new users of App Inventor.  


Google Blockly, like Scratch, uses jigsaw pieces containing commands that you can snap together to create an application. The blocks can be dragged, dropped, and rearranged as many times as you like. Google has five working demonstrations of Blockly that you can try right now. Google Blockly could be a good tool for students to use to play with logic commands in a relatively easy to understand environment. Blockly doesn't require any typing, just clicking, dragging, and dropping with a mouse or on a touch screen. 

Crunchzilla [www.crunchzilla.com/]
Crunchzilla: learn to write Javascript programs using two versions of Crunchzilla; Code Maven and Code Monster. Code Monster, designed forstudents of middle school age, contains 58 short lessons that take students from the very basics of things like resizing and repositioning objects to complex creation of animations. Students can work through the lessons in sequence or jump directly to any of the lessons. Students receive instant feedback on each lesson because the code that they write and the results of the code are displayed side by side. Code Maven, for teens and adults, offers 59 lessons for students to work through at their own pace to learn programming fundamentals. After completing the Code Maven tutorials students are ready to move on to Game Maven where they can work through 37 lessons in which they will create three simple online games.
With TouchDevelop kids can learn to program simple animations and games (for apps). On TouchDevelop students program a series of actions by entering sequences of commands such as "move forward" and "turn right" that are carried out on the screen by a chosen figure such as a turtle. In addition to the direction commands students program the distances covered on screen, the colors, the animations, and the images to appear on screen. All commands have to be entered into correct sequences of "if, then" logic in order for everything to display as intended. TouchDevelop works on most modern web browsers including Chrome for iPad.


CodeMonkey is a fun game through which students learn some basic programming skills. In the game students have to help a monkey get his bananas. The game presents students with a series of thirty progressively more difficult challenges in which they have to help a monkey reach his bananas. Students help the monkey get his bananas by correctly programming the movements of the monkey. CodeMonkey provides little tutorials for to help students through the challenges. 


MT is a free tool that allows you to write and test HTML and instantly see how your new code will look on the web. On one side of your screen you will see your code and on the other side you will see how your code looks on the web. When you're ready to share your new code with the world just click "publish" to have a web address created for your page. 


Daisy the Dinosaur (iPad app) [http://www.daisythedinosaur.com/ Daisy the Dinosaur
Daisy the Dinosaur is a free iPad app designed to introduce young students to some programming basics. The app asks students to create commands for Daisy the Dinosaur to carry out. There is a free play mode in which students can make Daisy do whatever they want. Daisy the Dinosaur asks students to enter commands in the correct sequence in order to make Daisy complete tasks correctly.


Tynker (Children)  http://www.tynker.com/


Light Bot (Teens) http://light-bot.com/  (iOS/Android/Web)


Groklearning (Adults) https://groklearning.com/






20150807_161128Why using Arduino in American Spaces?  In a rapidly changing world, powered by social media and instant information, learning opportunities can be found everywhere. Just as traditional libraries are evolving into dynamic community spaces in the United States, American Spaces must be dynamic learning centers as well. To enrich participants’ experiences in the Resource Centers, CTJ American Space is eager to use non-traditional materials to design programs and become a community center, where youth can use digital tools to explore entrepreneurship, learn English, connect art and design with social change, and learn digital artifact creation. Nowadays, there are many materials that provide opportunities to do just that, but our staff needs to build internal expertise in order to take full advantage of such materials. In August, teachers, librarians, and resource center staff were invited to participate in an interesting hands-on session to learn a bit about Arduino and how to use them in some of our programs. So, What`s Arduino and why use it in a Resource center?
What's an Arduino? Arduino is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. They can read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. Arduino is the brain of thousands of projects and there is a huge community of makers (students, hobbyists, artists, and programmers) gathered around this open-source platform. Their contributions have added up to an incredible amount of accessible knowledge that can be of great help to novices and experts alike.

Why should we use Arduino in American Spaces` programs? First, Learning how to use Arduino boards can enable people to find solutions to local problems. And Arduinos are extremely flexible as you can use them again and again for different purposes. Lastly, developing projects with Arduino will engage participants in a collaborative learning process and foster 21st century digital skills. 20150807_150642
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Arduino Projects 




Get your Arduinos and shields in Brazil 

www.mecaloja.com (fast delivery)




Maker Projects

SESC São Paulo

3D printers in Brazil


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