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Cameron Myers
April 5, 2018

The kids and teens at the Clarendon Branch have been busy building and programming a fantastic cloud lamp! This marvel of math and science was wired by the kids using a breadboard, and coded in Python by the teens using a Raspberry Pi. 

Check out these wiz kids in action. . .


Check out these wiz kids in action. . .

Kids wire a Raspberry Pi

The cloud lamp goes through a series of animations depicting sunshine, rain, a thunderstorm, overcast skies, and finally a sunset. It was a bit of work programming all the different loops for our LED strip, but it all came together with persistence and help from our trusty kids Python books.

Book Cover: Python for Kids
Python for Kids written by Jason Briggs

Introduces the basics of the Python programming language, covering how to use data structures, organize and reuse code, draw shapes and patterns with turtle, and create games and animations with tkinter.

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Book Cover: Teach your Kids to Code
Teach your Kids to Code: a parent-friendly guide to python programming written by Bryson Payne

A guide to teaching basic programming skills for parents and teachers, with step-by-step explanations, visual examples, and exercises. Covers programming concepts including loops, lists, functions, and variables, and how to build games and applications.

Check the Catalog

Currently, the lamp presides over our kids section for all inquisitive minds to see. Come check it out next time you’re at Clarendon!

Lamp in Kids Section

Want to make one yourself? Check out this tutorial on how to program an LED strip using a Raspberry Pi. Basically, you’ll need a Raspberry Pi (w/ linux installed), an RGB LED strip (with 12V power supply), some MOSFET resistors, a basic breadboard (we got ours from SparkFun), and some jumper wires. For a slightly more advanced project, try programming the lamp to tell you the forecast.

Want more STEM? Come to other Library Lab events at your local library!

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