Project to Impress a Middle Schooler

Hey all,

Long time developer, just getting into the SmartThings ecosystem. I am doing a presentation for a group of middle schoolers next month to get them excited about the software development field.

I’m thinking I could create some sort of IoT demo to get a little ‘wow’ factor, and show how changing some simplistic code can alter what’s happening with something physical.

Problem is - I have a pretty crappy imagination. Anyone have any ideas on something that would impress a middle schooler?

Thanks for any suggestions!

How about a Rube Goldberg machine?

How about a smart color LED bulb and show how to change colors through code. Use examples like blue for rain, red for storms. You could let a couple of kids pick a color and show them how to make it happen.

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The LittleBits blog is a great place to look for inspiration for kid-friendly maker projects.

Common themes:

Color changes
Anything that flies
Anything that opens automatically (many vending machine variations)

Using a motion sensor as a touchless switch is a good start. :wink:

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I still find the Mood Cube fascinating. Go through the entire thread and see examples of what users have done with this. It is very interesting.


Awesome ideas!

I like the idea of a simplistic cause/effect machine like the rube goldberg idea, @nelemansc, and could couple it with celblazer’s idea of letting the kids choose what some of the results could be.

Could even kick it off in the same manner with the free mini-drone I got the other day :slight_smile: (Anyone a developer? Check this out for a free drone, did it in a half hour and had the drone less than a week later.)

I am loving the idea of the littlebits @JDRoberts, had never seen that before. Only problem is that my budget only allows for one kit, and this is the perfect excuse for me to get my wife to let me buy into SmartThings for the house, as well :wink: Yes, there is also a selfish reason for going the SmartThings route :slight_smile: But, mostly for the kids! I’ll be looking into this though, as I am hoping this could spark a small interest group, and that would be perfect for hands-on.

I really like LittleBits as an intro to electronics for kids, because you don’t have to do any soldering and it’s really easy to swap things around so you can see why different circuit formations do different things.

That said, I didn’t mean to actually use littlebits. I just meant to use their project ideas as inspiration for things you could do with devices you already had. :sunglasses:

Very cool - I think I could have access to some Hue’s too. Or a LifX.

Makes sense, i’ve been perusing their library since you posted :slight_smile: Lots of good inspiration and temptations over there - thanks!

Ordering up today, so I actually don’t have set devices yet. Soon though!

I did a variation on it and did a dimmer cube.