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Simple mini STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) project platform, which can be used as the basis for an educational STEM/maker class in elementary, summer camp or middle school. Let’s not forget about home tutoring. No soldering, hot iron or glue gun is needed.

In addition, it is very inexpensive lending itself to use in a large class room setting.

I have also created a software development instructional, set of lessons, which utilizes this hardware platform. Given here: STEM-Game-Platform Lesson Plan

This build is also just a lot of fun for kids. They love being able to make things themselves, as well as playing the accompanying LED games and mini apps. This micro-controller STEM/Game platform can be put together in less than an hour (given the header pins are already soldered on)

Unlike the more complex Arduino 12 LED-bar display gaming device, it is somewhat akin to:
instructables.com/id/Single-Line-LED-Display-Games. It is worth noting though, that games from it can be adapted for this platform. I did so for the “pingPong” game, included in the STEM_Platform_Games.ino sketch that is part of this project.

What makes the construction of this especially easy is that of having worked out where the button and LED display modules could be directly lined up with pins of the Nano microcontroller module and be operated as desired. The subsequent handling of the common button ground and the common LED +Voltage were very key.

PARTS

Nano V3.0 ATmega328P Micro-Controller
4 Keys Button Keypad Module for Arduino
8 LED Bar Marquee Display Module with 4 colors for Arduino
9mm dia. Piezoelectric Passive Buzzer Sounder
170pin mini solderless breadboard
All of these components can be found on eBay for very reasonable cost. Just use the text I have given in your eBay search. Although the delivery time will likely be 4-8 weeks.

Note that some of the button modules have the header pins pre-soldered on the wrong side of the PCB for direct use in this project.”

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