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ALL GUIDES


  1. Getting Started
  2. Blink
  3. Traffic Light
  4. Reaction Game
  5. Silly Stories
  6. Tally
  7. Guess My Number
  8. Bouncy Numbers
  9. Speak Like A Machine

  1. Security Zone
  2. Ultrasonic Drum
  3. Resistor Piano
  4. Walker Race
  5. Walker Dance
  6. Walker Detect
  7. Runaway Rover
  8. Rover Sensor Steering

  1. Lighthouse
  2. Frog Frenzy
  3. Game Controller
  4. Minecraft Controller

  1. Security Zone
  2. Ultrasonic Drum
  3. Resistor Piano
  4. Ther-Mood-Stat
  5. Color Coded
  6. Pulse

  1. Beam Break
  2. Car Race
  3. Motion Ball

  1. Solar House
  2. Soil Sensor
  3. Air Guitar

  1. Light Show
  2. Light Show Animation
  3. Pipercraft City
  4. Party Lights

EDUCATOR GUIDES

GLOSSARY

 

Absolute Value How far away a given number is from zero. Example: Both 10 and -10 are 10 units away from 0.

Acceleration Measurement of the change in velocity or how much an object speeds up over time (MB / BB)

Algorithm A step-by-step set of operations performed to help solve a problem.

Alligator Clip A small metal clip shaped like an alligator's mouth that connects to one end of a wire. It is used to make temporary electrical connections by clipping onto different components or wires.

Animation Rapidly displaying a sequence of photos, images, or drawings to create the illusion of motion. (CAT)

Array A programming method for storing and retrieving more than one piece of information or data.

Autonomous vehicle A vehicle that can operate without direct human control, usually through a built-in autopilot system.

Binary A number system based only on the numerals 0 and 1; a base 2 numeral system. Composed of, relating to, or involving two; dual.

Bionics When we use biological systems (e.g., dogs, humans) to develop and design new robots.

Biotechnology A field that focuses on creating technologies to help sick or hurt people. (P)

Bit The smallest unit of data that a computer can process and store. A single digit of a binary number. It is either on (1) or off (0).

Boolean A type of data or expression with two possible values: true and false.

Breadboard A plastic board with many holes electrically connected by inner metal strips. Components and wires can be electrically connected by plugging them into the holes on the breadboard.

Bug An error in a software program that may cause it to unexpectedly quit or behave unintendedly (i.e., a problem to resolve).

Button A basic electronic component used to momentarily close (connect) a circuit.

Capacitance An object's ability to hold an electric charge.

Capacitor An electric component that can store or release energy for electronic devices when they need it. It is similar to a battery but cannot hold as much charge as a battery, and it releases its charge much faster than a battery can.

Circuit A conductive path for the flow of current or electricity.

Code Any set of instructions expressed in a programming language. Also, one component of a programming language that has a specific purpose.

Color Depth The number of different colors that can be displayed by each pixel in a computer graphic, usually measured in bits (e.g., 8-bit means 256 different colors because binary 11111111 is 255, and when you include 0, it is 256 different values ). (CAT)

Component An element of a larger group of items, usually providing a particular service.

Computational Thinking Problem-solving related to computer science using skills such as decomposing problems, pattern recognition, abstraction, logic, reasoning, and automation. The ability to formulate problems so their solutions are represented as computational steps or algorithms for a computer to solve.

Conditional A part of a computer program where the computer makes a decision based on whether something (a condition) is true or false.

Conditional Statement A coding instruction used to compare values and express and make decisions, like an if-then statement.

Console Personal computers built for gaming (e.g., PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch).

Current The measure of the flow of electricity. Specifically, how many electrons pass through a point in a conductor or wire in a given amount of time. Current is measured in units called Amperes, or Amps for short.

Data Values, such as numbers or text, that can be stored, retrieved, changed, or deleted.

Debug Finding and correcting errors (bugs) in programs.

Decompose To break things down into simple components.

Echolocation The ability to use sound to determine how far away an object is (instead of sight). By making a clicking sound, a sensor (or an animal like a bat or dolphin) listens for how long it takes for the original sound to bounce back (an echo). The longer it takes for the sound to bounce back, the further away the object is. This all happens in less than 1/100th of a second.

Encryption Encoding messages to keep them secret so only the people you want can read them.

End-to-end Encryption A technology that allows only the sender and receiver to read the message.

Engineer A person trained to design and build machines, structures, circuits, or code.

Event Something that can trigger the computer to perform an action, like button presses, switch turned on/off, mouse clicks, key presses.

Execute To carry out ("start" or "run") a set of computer instructions (program, app, etc.).

Expression A word, phrase, or symbol that represents a value.

Feedback Sensors Instruments that robots can use to make adjustments based on their readings.

Fever A high temperature from the body responding to something wrong (e.g., infection). (P)

Firewall Software program or hardware to screen for and block hackers, viruses, and worms.

Force A push or pull on an object, measured in pounds (imperial) or Newtons (metric). (MB / BB)

Fossil Fuels Sources of energy made from prehistoric plants and animals (coal, oil, natural gas). (CE)

Function A named piece of a program that performs a specific task. (Also called a procedure or routine.) Some programming languages distinguish between a function that returns a value and a procedure that performs some operations but does not return a value.

GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) Pins Pins on a microcomputer or microcontroller that can be programmed to send or receive electrical signals. They can be connected to almost anything (such as buttons and LEDs).

Graphic User Interface (GUI) A way to display information on the computer screen where the user can use a mouse or touchscreen to click various buttons. (CAT)

Hack A quick way to change or improve something, often involving decomposing how it works first.

Identity Theft A crime where someone uses personally identifiable data to pretend to be someone else.

Input Device A hardware device that sends data to a computer, allowing interaction and control.

IR Beam IR (Infrared) is a form of invisible light used in electronics for communication and sensing. A beam of IR can be pulsed to transmit data wirelessly, like the remote for your TV, or motion sensors can use it to detect movement or obstacles.

Iterate Repeating a process to improve and reach a desired goal or result.

Jumper Wires Wires used to connect from the GPIO to the breadboard. Jumper wires can have different kinds of connections on their ends, such as plugs, sockets, or alligator clips.

Kinetic Energy Energy an object has due to its motion. It can be converted from potential energy. (MB / BB)

LED (Light Emitting Diode) A diode is like a one-way valve that only allows electricity to flow in one direction. All diodes give off some light (visible or invisible) when electricity passes through them, but LEDs give off lots of visible light in specific wavelengths (colors).

List A sequence of several values grouped under a single name in code. A group of items or components. A tool used to store multiple pieces of information at once.

Loop A part of a computer program that repeats a chunk of code a specified number of times or while a condition is true.

Medium The materials used to create a piece of artwork, such as paint, marble, clay, or pastels. (CAT)

Memory Temporary storage used by computing devices. Information is stored and modified in memory when a program runs using data, variables, and arrays.

Microcontroller An integrated circuit containing a microprocessor with memory and associated circuits.

Modding Making "modifications" to how a game sounds, plays, looks, or functions, usually by users.

Momentum Measurement of mass in motion equal to the mass times the velocity of an object. (MB / BB)

Nested Loops One code loop contained within another code loop, each loop containing a code sequence.

Operators Symbols (+, -, ⨉, ÷, "and," "or," "not," &, |) used in a computer program to compare two or more values or to change a value.

Output Device A piece of hardware that converts information into a form humans can sense and understand.

Parallelism When things happen at the same time. Sometimes also called Threading or Multiprocessing.

Phototransistor Similar to a switch or button, but instead of pressing it, it closes the circuit when enough light shines on it.

Piezo Buzzer An electronic component that vibrates to create a sound when a voltage is applied to it.

Pin A metal projection from a plug (or the Raspberry Pi board) that makes an electrical connection with a wire, socket, or another part of a circuit. Pins control external devices by connecting them to the board's integrated circuit (or chip).

Pixel A shortened form of "picture element," one of the many tiny dots that, when combined, represent a picture in a computer’s memory. (The number of pixels in an image is called its "resolution.") (CAT)

Playtesting Playing through new inventions or builds to find bugs, test their ease of use, and get new ideas to build on.

Pollution Anything that dirties the Earth, such as litter, smoke from cars and factories, or water contamination. (CE)

Potential Energy Energy stored by an object due to its state or position; can be converted to kinetic energy. (MB / BB)

Power The current or flow of electric charge and voltage.

Program An algorithmic set of instructions a computer processes to achieve a particular objective. Humans use computational thinking to create programs.

Programming The creative process humans use to develop programs or Apps. The craft of analyzing problems and designing, writing, testing, and maintaining programs for computers to solve them.

Pseudo Code An informal description of a computer program's or other algorithm's operating principles, written for a human to understand instead of a computer.

Pulse The regular beating of the arteries caused by the heart’s beat. (P)

Python A text-based programming language used in many career fields like web development, artificial intelligence, data analysis, and game development.

Raspberry Pi A small, low-cost microcomputer. Together with the Raspberry Pi OS, a special operating system, it can do many things that a full-sized computer can do.

Renewable Energy Energy sources from natural resources that can be more easily replenished (solar, water, nuclear). (CE)

Repeat To do something over and over again.

Resistor An electrical component that limits the flow of electrical current in a circuit. It is often used in the circuit of a PED to prevent too much current from damaging the LED.

Resolution The number of pixels in an image.

RGB (Red-Green-Blue) LED An LED that contains a red, a green, and a blue LED all in the same component. The three internal LEDs combine their light to produce almost any color.

Robot A device that can execute a task independently of direct human control or activity.

Sensor A device that produces an output signal to sense a physical phenomenon.

Sequence The series of steps that must be completed to perform a task. Also called an algorithm.

Sequential Following a logical, numerical, or alphabetical order.

Serial One thing happening at a time.

Servo Motor Self-contained electric devices that precisely rotate or push machine parts.

Signal An electronic message sent from one component to another.

Solar Panel A device that converts light energy into electricity. A solar panel is made of many small units called solar cells that work together to harness the sun's energy and convert it to usable electricity.

Spyware Software that installs itself on a device and secretly monitors activity.

State In electronics, a high or "on" or 1 state indicates that a pin or component has electric current flowing, and a low or "off" or 0 state indicates no current flowing. Also, the status or particular condition that something is in at a specific time - such as a button in a pressed state. In programming, a snapshot of the data a program is currently looking at or analyzing.

Statement Any combination of words, phrases, or symbols used together to perform a task.

Switch A basic electronic component that opens or closes an electrical circuit depending on its position or setting.

System A collection of elements or components that work together for a common purpose.

Ultrasound Frequencies of sound higher than what a human can hear. Doctors can use them to look inside the body by bouncing sound waves off the kidneys, the heart, or other places a doctor needs to check out. (P)

Variable A word or symbol that represents a small piece of memory that holds a value (data). The data stored in the variable can be retrieved, changed, or deleted.

Variables A value that can change depending on conditions or information passed to the program. A storage location with a symbolic name used to keep track of a value that can change while a program is running (similar concept to using X and Y in an algebraic equation). Variables are not only numbers; they can also hold text, including whole sentences (strings) or logical values (true or false).

Velocity Another word for speed or the rate of change in an object’s position. (MB / BB)

Virtual Reality (VR) Computer technology that makes someone feel like they are elsewhere. It requires a player to wear a headset and use input devices to play games.

Virus A malicious software program loaded onto a user’s computer without the user’s knowledge. Viruses can mess up your computer and steal your information.

Voltage The measure of electrical force or pressure in a circuit. It represents the push that moves electrons through a conductor or wire. Voltage is measured in units called Volts.

Wearable Technology Any electronic device worn on the user’s body. (P)