This past CoderDojo drop in lab was a great day for all involved. The theme this month was ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”> Water a plant day. The topic of the workshop was building a moisture sensor hooked up to an arduino. Everybody had a great time and we got the circuits built and some of the code done. Unfortunately, due to some transit issues, the workshop started a bit late, so we didn’t get time to get through everything.

Workshop

The workshop involved putting together the circuitry using a breadboard, which is a good first step to working with electronics as it allows you to rewire the circuit to make sure it is working as required. Typically, you would also have to do all of the logic to read the sensor, and then do the alerting as well. However, as we are using an Arduino, it means that this can all be done via programming. For this workshop we continued on with some of the intermediate Python since we have been working with that in recent workshops. The downside to this, is that you must have the computer connected to the Arduino to keep everything working. Unfortunately we didn’t get past the basic Python to get everything working, but all the source code is available. There was a bit of an issue when the Mac’s trying to read from the sensor which is still being looked into.

Since this workshop relies on a custom activities, there will be a full write up posted to the blog soon. It will go into a bit more detail with the Python that was to be covered, how to find what port is called that your Arduino is connected to on your computer. Hopefully the issue with the Mac’s will be resolved, and the steps to fix that will also be there. There will also be a version of the code in Arduino C, so that you can run your logic without the computer. For now though, if you want to access the material, you can get it at this link.

Closing Notes

There were some really great projects worked on in the April session. We look forward to seeing everybody next month. Be sure to look out for the Python and Arduino articles to dig deeper.

Michael West

About Michael West

Michael is a CoderDojo Mentor with 10 years of teaching experience in IT. He has worked in Asia for several years teaching English to kids, and loves to program and tinker with electronics in his spare time. He currently works as a Technical Trainer at SuMO IT Solutions delivering ServiceNow Training