Last week the 8th grade students at St. Raymond started to build touchscreen computers. This class has already had experience over the last couple of years working with microcontrollers like the Arduino Uno R3 and explored programming. This year it all comes together with the students actually building the computers they will use the rest of the year.
The computers we are building on based on the Raspberry Pi. We are using this board because it has a set of GPIO (General Purpose Input and Output) pins that allow the computer to sense inputs from the physical environment (e.g. a humidity sensor) and then impact the physical environment (e.g. turn on a fan). It will take a few class sessions to complete the build process, but students will have the experience of actually building the one of the main tools they will be using this year.