For the past three years, I've worked with Beam Center and the Brooklyn International High School on project-based curriculum in ten week cycles. In the spring of 2014, we built DIY Drum Pads using Arduino, MIDI, and GarageBand. This was part of a larger interdisciplinary project based on music and outlined in the World of Science Blog. In 2015, we built a Digital Poetry Machine by laser cutting words and programming them into EEPROM chips that lived on the back.
For the 2015-2016 school year, I was asked to develop a curriculum that would be taught to the entire 9th, 10th, and 11th grade classes in 7 week cycles throughout the entire school year.
Based on how we built C.O.R.A.L., I decided to incorporate LED strips into a light box and turn them on using Arduino and motion sensors. I taught the students about fractal patterns, and allowed each group of 4-5 design their own LED fractal using 24 LEDs each.
I taught them the basics of electricity, voltage, and data and then the students spent three weeks soldering their individual fractal strips together. Then we cut 2' x 2' squares of plywood and arranged the strips so they could all be powered from a single Arduino.
We drilled a small hole in a square of frosted acrylic and mounted the PIR sensor, then as a class we wrote some code to power the lights. At the end of each class, we mounted the completed light box in the hallway at the school.