Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Looking Forward to Having Fun with HyperDuino

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Roger Wagner, the creator of Hyper Studio, to introduce me to his latest project...HyperDuino.  I am typically very tuned into new products in the STEAM/Makerspace world, but I had not experienced HyperDuino before.  I jumped at the chance to explore it with my third graders, and Roger jumped right in and sent me one within days of our first contact!  I went ahead and opened it up in front of my students, while they were sitting on the carpet, and we explored it together.

Essentially, Roger has created a breadboard... HyperDuino, which can can run off a 9V battery and connect to lights, touch sensors, light sensors, and I believe even temperature sensors.  In addition, it can connect to a computer through a usb, and communicate with a Chrome App that allows students to create multi-media presentations that interact with their makerspace projects or other school projects. Take a look at this example:


My students and I were really excited to jump in and see what the HyperDuino could do. Fortunately, Roger has amazing tutorials on his webpage, and he had a specific one for getting started right away with a simple project using the touch sensors and LED lights.  As we were connecting the wires, it gave me a great opportunity to reinforce our unit on energy and the transfer of energy.  Often kids think that wires have electricity flowing through them at all times, but I was able to point out to them that the wires serve as a means to transfer energy.  We hadn't connected the battery yet, so no power was flowing through them. Once we got it all set up, the kids enjoyed taking turns pressing the touch sensors and seeing the lights light up.  We also noticed that sometimes when I talked (the touch sensors were inches from my mouth) the lights would illuminate, which allowed us to talk about things that conduct electricity...including the water vapor in my breath!

Last week I got another kit sent to me...this time with a project already started for my kiddos.  Roger prepared it for a National Park Project, complete with photos of how to set it up and his own handwriting!  Included were also packets of how-to instructions to walk us through each step of the project! Now I know this is a product that is still in the launching phase, but I actually think there is something to be said about delivering a product slightly ready with an example, as it helped me see the potential right away! The great thing is, I have done Michigan State Park reports in the past and after seeing this example, I believe I know how I will be tackling that project this year!

Another great thing about having it shipped to me ready to go like this, I was able to share it with my colleagues right away!  I also think it made it look user friendly and doable for teachers.  I think I have even convinced my ELL teacher to do a small group project to frontload our next science unit with the third graders using the HyperDuino!

All I can say is kudos to Roger Wagner for knowing how to win over teachers!  Not with fancy swag, but with a great product and awesome support to get started!  I can't wait to see how much fun my students and I can have integrating the HyperDuino with our making, researching, and learning!

For more information on how you can get a HyperDuino, check out the HyperDuino Store!

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