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  1. Light Show
  2. Light Show Animation



Design expedition

Mission 2 of 4

Light Show Animation


1 hour

Ages 8+

Learn how to use light show bitmaps in a sequence to create an animation like those used in films or cybersecurity.

Piperbot and Pip are trying to say hello to the Master Maker’s City! Write a scrolling message with your Light Show, and create interesting animations that, when looped, create animations and motion with lights.

View student interface at




Computer with USB port and Chrome or Edge browser
Piper Make Base Station or Starter Kit
Piper Make Light Show


Learning Goals

  1. Students will learn how to create an illusion of movement by displaying bitmaps in a sequence. 
  2. Students will learn the principles of animation: 
  3. Students will reinforce their knowledge of wait times in programming and how they affect movement, speed, and frame rate.  

Learning Activities

The following sections will contain step by step instructions for ELA, ELD and Math extensions directly related to this mission. Adjust the directions to fit your ELA, ELD and Math standards.

Cybersecurity Extension: Secret Message

Create a secret message using bitmaps and send it to someone else.  

  • Student A will build code with their Light Show and then send it via Google Drive to Student B. Student B can then use the “Import” feature in Creative Mode to upload this code to PiperMake and read it with their own Light Show.  
  • Discuss how this exchange of information is technically end-to-end encryption – as the Light Shows serve as encryption and decryption devices while the intermediate (the PNG code) is technically not readable.  

Career Connections

Demonstrator and Product Promoter: Salary $34,770/yr
Marketing Manager: Salary $140,040/yr
Fashion Designer: Salary $76,700/yr
Web and Digital Interface Designer: Salary $83,240/yr

Hardware Diagram

Code Diagram

Tutorial Steps



Troubleshooting Tips

  • Notice the orientation of the Light Show LED Matrix Board in the wiring image. Follow the wiring diagram and correctly place the wires, some of which will cross, on the Breadboard. 
  • The color of the Jumper Wires in the diagram may be different from the colors in your kit. Jumper Wires can be used interchangeably. The color does not represent any difference in the Piper Kits. 
  • To change the colors on your Light Show LED Matrix Board, click above or below the text on the Pixel Grid block, and the color choices will appear. 
  • Is the Start button not green? Don’t forget to connect your Pico. 

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