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Lights, Sensors, Action! Introducing Circuit Playground Express for CS, Electronics, and Creativity

November 4
9:50 AM - 11:50 AM
Digital Learning and Innovative Practices
Library and Media Specialists, Teachers

With the new IL computer science standards in place, many schools and districts will be looking for fun and engaging ways to introduce and support CS with their students. Circuit Playground Express is a micro controller that is an inexpensive resource to support computer science coursework. Appropriate for grades 4-12, these boards come with tons of colorful LEDs and sensors. Circuit Playground Express are programmed with Microsoft MakeCode (block based) or JavaScript, so they are an excellent way to help students understand basic coding concepts and can easily transition to more complex projects. The board is a great addition to makespaces and STEM labs as they can be incorporated into tons of different cross curricular projects. Physical computing with CPE brings computer science concepts like events, sequences, loops, and conditionals to the real world. There are tons of free resources and projects that can also support teachers and spark creativity in students. Not only will students be engaged and learn more about CS, but the microcontrollers help students see the real world connection to computer science as so much of our life is connect to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps
Program Manager, Computer Science and STEM, Learning Technology Center

Sarah leads computer science and STEM initiatives, manages partnerships with state and national organizations, and elevates the LTC’s role as a thought leader in the K-12 computer science space.