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Feather Form Factor - Making STEM education more accessible,
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Feather Form Factor - Making STEM education more accessible,

by Sidharta on Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:46 am

Hello, Adafruit!

I am Sidharta Vadaparty (but Sid is fine!). I am currently a freshman at Georgia Institute of Technology with a major in Computer Science.

I would like to say thank you, Adafruit! Since I was 12, I have followed the projects and tutorials that Adafruit has thoroughly covered. Adafruit has taught me how to make circuits, how to code, and most importantly, to share projects with the rest of the world.

Thanks to Adafruit and my innate love for science, I was able persue my interest of making STEM education more affordable and DIY.

It started in my 9th grade, where my fantastic physics teacher encouraged us to learn through hands-on experimentation. But when I learned how expensive the equipment for linear kinematics was, I decided to find a more open source alternative. Thus, with Adafruit's metro mini (then later adapted to the feather basic proto) and the inexpensive IR sensors, I built the Kinemeter:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j6NxPDzljI
And I published a three part instructables on its underlying physics and assembly here:
https://www.instructables.com/id/THE-KI ... atic-Tool/
https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Ki ... -the-Body/
https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Ki ... cuit-Code/

And I have been using feather to make the rest of physics education more DIY since then. After exploring linear kinematics, I started working on the Cirkinemeter, a device that helps measure revolutions per second (RPS) and the centrifugal (That's RIGHT, centriFUGAL, not centripetal) force felt on a rotating disk. In my video and instructables on the device, I show how the Cirkinemeter describes the nuances of poorly named "fictitious forces". Thanks to the feather basic and the OLED featherwing, I was able to make an aesthetically simple way to control the device without using too many wires.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPl5fyXXWYU
https://www.instructables.com/id/Cirkin ... atics-Pla/

The biggest use for the feather was making a compact device called the E.M.F. Meter to finally explore electromagnetism in the same ways I explored kinematics. With it, a person could quantitatively (not just qualitatively) test laws like Biot-savart's law, Lorenz's law, and Lenz's law. Because of its standard form factor across all the feathers and featherwings, I was able to develop my own featherwing for the ADS1115 chip that measures and amplifies voltage. Additionally, no wire soldering or connections were necessary as I could plug one layer of the device into the other, with the display being the 2.4" TFT display (which graphs a voltage vs time chart).

The videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M9FpxtFayA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yjYseeHXik

Instructables
https://www.instructables.com/id/Analog ... ther-Wing/
https://www.instructables.com/id/The-EMFMeter/

Now, these devices are adopted by my high school, Montgomery High School Skillman, NJ, and are now in its physics curriculum.

I give my sincerest thanks to Adafruit, for being my teacher of electronics and coding, for encouraging creativity for everyone (including myself), and for enabling me to pursue my passion of democratizing STEM education and disrupting the community with new instruments that encourage hands-on experimentation at a low cost.

P.S. Also, a picture of me and my dad at the Georgia Tech hotel (I'm wearing the transistor man t-shirt in this). Thought you might enjoy!
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Sidharta
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:47 am

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