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Christmas STEM Projects

06 Dec 2023
Christmas STEM Projects

This holiday season, we at Picobricks have crafted some wonderful STEM projects for Christmas! These projects are designed to introduce children to fundamental concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a fun and engaging way. They are perfect for elementary level and can be easily adapted for kindergarten and preschool students.

Table of Contents

    Our first project is a memory game made with LED lights. This DIY activity is not only fun but also helps in enhancing cognitive skills and memory in kids. It's an easy, beginner level project that allows children to learn basic circuit concepts while playing.

    Next, we have a Christmas countdown display. This project is a great way to build anticipation for Christmas Day. It shows how many days are left until Christmas, combining the joy of the holiday season with practical number learning. It’s free to create and can be a joyful addition to any classroom or home.

    Lastly, our LDR sensor-based project, the "Night and Day Game", is specially designed for kids to learn about light sensors in a playful manner. This project is perfect for young learners, making it an ideal STEM project for Christmas.

    All these projects are easy to make, free or low-cost, and perfect for young minds eager to learn and create. They not only foster creativity but also encourage learning through play, making them ideal for kids interested in DIY projects. So, let's dive into the world of STEM this Christmas and make learning fun!

    Here Our Christmas Stem Activitie Ideas:

    • Christmas RGB LED Memory Challange
    • Christmas Art Projects
    • Funny Night and Day Game

    Christmas RGB LED Memory Challange

    Discover the fun of learning with our first Picobricks Christmas project an Addressable RGB LED Memory Game! This STEM project is blending the excitement of the holiday season with engaging educational content. 

    The game operates with a Picobricks connected to a circular RGB LED strip containing multiple LEDs. When the button on the Picobricks is pressed, a random number of LEDs on the ring light up briefly. Then, it's the player's turn. Using a potentiometer, the player attempts to light up the same number of LEDs and presses the button to confirm their choice. The closer the number of lit LEDs matches the original pattern, the higher the score, which is displayed on an OLED screen.

    This project is not only a fun memory game but also an excellent way to introduce children to basic programming and electronics. We provide the necessary Python codes and a list of required components, making it a great DIY activity. Children can learn about LED control, user input handling, and scorekeeping, all while enjoying a playful and interactive experience.

    Project Diagram:

    Project Video:

     

    How to Make?

    Step 1:

    Connect Picobricks to Bricks IDE or ThonnyPhyton.

    If you are wondering how to do it, you can visit this article: How to Use Picobricks?

    Step 2: 

    BricksIDE

    Download and Import the project code into BricksIDE:

     

    Download BricksIDE code

     

    Learn how to use BricksIDE 

    ThonnyPhyton

    Or Import the project code into Thonny Python and run it:

    
    from time import sleep
    from machine import Pin
    from picobricks import WS2812
    import machine
    import time
    from machine import PWM
    import math
    from machine import I2C
    from picobricks import SSD1306_I2C
    
    pin_button = machine.Pin(10, machine.Pin.IN)
    import random
    buzzer = PWM(Pin(20))
    
    def turn():
        global adress, score, cDown, notesList, randTurn, potValue, i, counter
        adress = 0
        for count in range(randTurn):
            adress += 1
            i += 1
            if adress <= (8):
                ws2812 = WS2812(adress, brightness = 1)
                ws2812.pixels_fill(((0), (255), (0)))
                ws2812.pixels_show()
            if adress > (8) and adress <= (16):
                ws2812 = WS2812(adress, brightness = 1)
                ws2812.pixels_fill(((0), (0), (255)))
                ws2812.pixels_show()
            if adress > (16) and adress <= (25):
                ws2812 = WS2812(adress, brightness = 1)
                ws2812.pixels_fill(((255), (0), (0)))
                ws2812.pixels_show()
            buzzer.freq(notesList[i])
            buzzer.duty_u16(100)
            time.sleep((0.05))
            if i == (9):
                i = 0
    
    
        sleep(0.25)
        buzzer.duty_u16(0)
    
    import math
    pot = machine.ADC(26)
    
    def game():
        global adress, score, cDown, notesList, randTurn, potValue, i, counter
        StartGame()
        while (pin_button.value()) == (0):
            ws2812 = WS2812((25), brightness = 1)
            ws2812.pixels_fill(((0), (0), (0)))
            ws2812.pixels_show()
            potValue = round(round( pot.read_u16() - 0 ) * ( 25 - 0 ) / ( 65535 - 0 ) + 0)
            ws2812 = WS2812(potValue, brightness = 1)
            ws2812.pixels_fill(((255), (0), (255)))
            ws2812.pixels_show()
            time.sleep((0.1))
    
    
    def control():
        global adress, score, cDown, notesList, randTurn, potValue, i, counter
        score = randTurn - potValue
        if score < 0:
            score = score * (-1)
        score = round(round( score - 0 ) * ( 0 - 100 ) / ( 25 - 0 ) + 100)
        print(score)
    
    i2c = I2C(0, scl=Pin(5), sda=Pin(4), freq=200000)
    oled = SSD1306_I2C(128, 64, i2c, addr=0x3c)
    
    def OLEDScore():
        global adress, score, cDown, notesList, randTurn, potValue, i, counter
        oled.fill(0)
        oled.text("{}".format("SCORE:"), 10, 20)
        oled.text("{}".format(score), 80, 20)
        oled.show()
    
    def StartGame():
        global adress, score, cDown, notesList, randTurn, potValue, i, counter
        oled.fill(0)
        oled.text("{}".format("Trun the "), 0, 10)
        oled.text("{}".format("Potentiometer"), 0, 20)
        oled.text("{}".format("and press"), 0, 30)
        oled.text("{}".format("the button"), 0, 40)
        oled.show()
    
    def start():
        global adress, score, cDown, notesList, randTurn, potValue, i, counter
        oled.fill(0)
        oled.text("{}".format("Press the"), 0, 10)
        oled.text("{}".format("Button to"), 0, 20)
        oled.text("{}".format("Started"), 0, 30)
        oled.show()
    
    def countDown():
        global adress, score, cDown, notesList, randTurn, potValue, i, counter
        cDown = 10
        for count in range((10)):
            OLEDScore()
            oled.text("{}".format(cDown), 60, 35)
            oled.show()
            cDown -= 1
            time.sleep((1))
    
    
    
    ws2812 = WS2812((25), brightness = 1)
    ws2812.pixels_fill(((0), (0), (0)))
    ws2812.pixels_show()
    notesList = [261, 293, 329, 349, 392, 440, 493, 261, 293, 329]
    while True:
        randTurn = 24
        adress = 0
        i = 0
        score = 0
        start()
        counter = 0
        while counter == (0) and (pin_button.value()) == (1):
            oled.fill(0)
            oled.show()
            ws2812 = WS2812((25), brightness = 1)
            ws2812.pixels_fill(((0), (0), (0)))
            ws2812.pixels_show()
            turn()
            ws2812 = WS2812((25), brightness = 1)
            ws2812.pixels_fill(((0), (0), (0)))
            ws2812.pixels_show()
            time.sleep((1))
            randTurn = random.randint(1, 25)
            print(randTurn)
            turn()
            time.sleep((0.3))
            game()
            control()
            print(potValue)
            countDown()
    

    Step 3: Enjoy Christmas

    Now you can play your game and challenge your friends.

    Chirstmas Tree Light Project

    Christmas is unthinkable without tree decorations. In this project we printed a tree on a 3D printer and lighted it up. Here's how to do it step by step:

    Step 1:

    Connect Picobricks to Arduino C.

    If you are wondering how to do it, you can visit this article: How to Use Picobricks?

    Step 2: Upload Code

    Here is necessary code:

    
    #include <Wire.h>
    #include "ACROBOTIC_SSD1306.h"
    #include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h> 
    
    #define NOTE_B0  31
    #define NOTE_C1  33
    #define NOTE_CS1 35
    #define NOTE_D1  37
    #define NOTE_DS1 39
    #define NOTE_E1  41
    #define NOTE_F1  44
    #define NOTE_FS1 46
    #define NOTE_G1  49
    #define NOTE_GS1 52
    #define NOTE_A1  55
    #define NOTE_AS1 58
    #define NOTE_B1  62
    #define NOTE_C2  65
    #define NOTE_CS2 69
    #define NOTE_D2  73
    #define NOTE_DS2 78
    #define NOTE_E2  82
    #define NOTE_F2  87
    #define NOTE_FS2 93
    #define NOTE_G2  98
    #define NOTE_GS2 104
    #define NOTE_A2  110
    #define NOTE_AS2 117
    #define NOTE_B2  123
    #define NOTE_C3  131
    #define NOTE_CS3 139
    #define NOTE_D3  147
    #define NOTE_DS3 156
    #define NOTE_E3  165
    #define NOTE_F3  175
    #define NOTE_FS3 185
    #define NOTE_G3  196
    #define NOTE_GS3 208
    #define NOTE_A3  220
    #define NOTE_AS3 233
    #define NOTE_B3  247
    #define NOTE_C4  262
    #define NOTE_CS4 277
    #define NOTE_D4  294
    #define NOTE_DS4 311
    #define NOTE_E4  330
    #define NOTE_F4  349
    #define NOTE_FS4 370
    #define NOTE_G4  392
    #define NOTE_GS4 415
    #define NOTE_A4  440
    #define NOTE_AS4 466
    #define NOTE_B4  494
    #define NOTE_C5  523
    #define NOTE_CS5 554
    #define NOTE_D5  587
    #define NOTE_DS5 622
    #define NOTE_E5  659
    #define NOTE_F5  698
    #define NOTE_FS5 740
    #define NOTE_G5  784
    #define NOTE_GS5 831
    #define NOTE_A5  880
    #define NOTE_AS5 932
    #define NOTE_B5  988
    #define NOTE_C6  1047
    #define NOTE_CS6 1109
    #define NOTE_D6  1175
    #define NOTE_DS6 1245
    #define NOTE_E6  1319
    #define NOTE_F6  1397
    #define NOTE_FS6 1480
    #define NOTE_G6  1568
    #define NOTE_GS6 1661
    #define NOTE_A6  1760
    #define NOTE_AS6 1865
    #define NOTE_B6  1976
    #define NOTE_C7  2093
    #define NOTE_CS7 2217
    #define NOTE_D7  2349
    #define NOTE_DS7 2489
    #define NOTE_E7  2637
    #define NOTE_F7  2794
    #define NOTE_FS7 2960
    #define NOTE_G7  3136
    #define NOTE_GS7 3322
    #define NOTE_A7  3520
    #define NOTE_AS7 3729
    #define NOTE_B7  3951
    #define NOTE_C8  4186
    #define NOTE_CS8 4435
    #define NOTE_D8  4699
    #define NOTE_DS8 4978
    #define REST      0
    
    #define BUZZER 20
    #define PIN        6
    #define NUMPIXELS 1
    
    Adafruit_NeoPixel pixels(NUMPIXELS, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);
    // change this to make the song slower or faster
    int tempo = 140;
    
    
    // notes of the moledy followed by the duration.
    // a 4 means a quarter note, 8 an eighteenth , 16 sixteenth, so on
    // !!negative numbers are used to represent dotted notes,
    // so -4 means a dotted quarter note, that is, a quarter plus an eighteenth!!
    int melody[] = {
    
      // We Wish You a Merry Christmas
      // Score available at https://musescore.com/user/6208766/scores/1497501
    
      NOTE_C5, 4, //1
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_E5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4,
      NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8,
      NOTE_E5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4,
      NOTE_A5, 4, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_AS5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_C5, 8, NOTE_C5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4,
    
      NOTE_F5, 2, NOTE_C5, 4, //8
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_E5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4,
      NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8,
      NOTE_E5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4,
      NOTE_A5, 4, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_AS5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_C5, 8, NOTE_C5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 2, NOTE_C5, 4,
    
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 4, //17
      NOTE_E5, 2, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4,
      NOTE_C5, 2, NOTE_A5, 4,
      NOTE_AS5, 4, NOTE_A5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4,
      NOTE_C6, 4, NOTE_C5, 4, NOTE_C5, 8, NOTE_C5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 2, NOTE_C5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_E5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4,
    
      NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8, //27
      NOTE_E5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4,
      NOTE_A5, 4, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_AS5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_C5, 8, NOTE_C5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 2, NOTE_C5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 4,
      NOTE_E5, 2, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4,
    
      NOTE_C5, 2, NOTE_A5, 4, //36
      NOTE_AS5, 4, NOTE_A5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4,
      NOTE_C6, 4, NOTE_C5, 4, NOTE_C5, 8, NOTE_C5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 2, NOTE_C5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_E5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4,
      NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8,
      NOTE_E5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4,
    
      NOTE_A5, 4, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_AS5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, //45
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_C5, 8, NOTE_C5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 2, NOTE_C5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8, NOTE_E5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4,
      NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, NOTE_F5, 8,
      NOTE_E5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4, NOTE_C5, 4,
    
      NOTE_A5, 4, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_AS5, 8, NOTE_A5, 8, NOTE_G5, 8, //53
      NOTE_F5, 4, NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_C5, 8, NOTE_C5, 8,
      NOTE_D5, 4, NOTE_G5, 4, NOTE_E5, 4,
      NOTE_F5, 2, REST, 4
    };
    
    // sizeof gives the number of bytes, each int value is composed of two bytes (16 bits)
    // there are two values per note (pitch and duration), so for each note there are four bytes
    int notes = sizeof(melody) / sizeof(melody[0]) / 2;
    
    // this calculates the duration of a whole note in ms
    int wholenote = (60000 * 4) / tempo;
    
    int divider = 0, noteDuration = 0;
    int random1 = 0;
    int random2 = 0;
    int random3 = 0;
    
    void setup() {
      pinMode(BUZZER, OUTPUT);
      Wire.begin();
      oled.init();
      oled.clearDisplay();
      pixels.begin();
      pixels.clear();
      randomSeed(analogRead(27));
    }
    
    void loop() {
      // iterate over the notes of the melody.
      // Remember, the array is twice the number of notes (notes + durations)
    
      for (int thisNote = 0; thisNote < notes * 2; thisNote = thisNote + 2) {
    
        // calculates the duration of each note
        divider = melody[thisNote + 1];
        if (divider > 0) {
          // regular note, just proceed
          noteDuration = (wholenote) / divider;
        } else if (divider < 0) {
          // dotted notes are represented with negative durations!!
          noteDuration = (wholenote) / abs(divider);
          noteDuration *= 1.5; // increases the duration in half for dotted notes
        }
    
        // we only play the note for 90% of the duration, leaving 10% as a pause
        tone(BUZZER, melody[thisNote], noteDuration * 0.9);
        random_color();
        // Wait for the specief duration before playing the next note.
        delay(noteDuration);
    
        // stop the waveform generation before the next note.
        noTone(BUZZER);
        random_color();
      }
    }
    
    void random_color() {
        random1 = random(1, 255);
        random2 = random(1, 255);
        random3 = random(1, 255);
        pixels.setPixelColor(0, pixels.Color(random1, random2, random3));
        pixels.show();
    }
    

    Step 3: Print 3D Tree

    You can access the STL file of the tree by clicking the button below. With this STL file you can print the tree on a 3D printer

    Download STL File

    And that's it. You now have your very own lighted Christmas tree.

     

    DIY Countdown

    Wouldn't you like to keep track of how much time is left until Christmas with a Countdown you made yourself? Let's explain step by step how to make this project, which you can also use as a snow globe:

    Step 1:

    Connect PicoBricks to BricksIDE orArduino C or.

    If you are wondering how to do it, you can visit this article: How to Use Picobricks?

    Here is project diagram:

    Step 2:

    Download the codes you want from the buttons below and install them on your PicoBricks.

    MicroPhyton Codes

    Arduino C Codes

    MicroBlocks Codes:

    Step 3: Let's Print 3D Parts

    With the 3d printer files we share with you below, you can get the necessary parts for your countdown from your 3d printer.
    How, it's a DIY project isn't it :)

    Download Bulp Parts

    Download Button Parts

    Step 4: 

    Enjoy your Christmas. Now you have a snow globe that counts how many days until Christmas :)

     

    Christmas Art Projects

    Wouldn't you like to give a recital to your loved ones on Christmas with a piano you built yourself?

    This art project is fully aligned with STEM activities and is a lot of fun. 

    In this cool project, we're crafting a piano app with the HC-SR04 Ultrasonic distance sensor and a buzzer module, all jazzed up on PicoBricks. The buzzer jams out different tunes based on what the distance sensor picks up. It's like conducting an orchestra with your hand – move it closer or further away from the sensor, and voilà, you create your own melodies! Plus, we're keeping it lively by flashing both the distance and the note info right on the OLED screen. It's a symphony of technology and fun!

    Funny Night and Day Game

    Alright, here's how it goes down! I'm going to ask you to hit that start button to kick off our game. Then, get ready for some quick thinking! Our OLED screen's gonna flip between NIGHT and DAY, each popping up for a snappy 2 seconds. Here's the catch: when NIGHT shows up, you gotta cover the LDR sensor like a ninja in the shadows. But when it's DAY? Uncover that sensor like the sun breaking through the clouds! You've got a mere 2 seconds to make your move, so stay sharp!

    Nail it and you'll rake in 10 points for each spot-on reaction. But oops, make a wrong move and it's game over, my friend! That's when you'll hear a quirky tone from the buzzer, kinda like it's saying "better luck next time". Your score? It'll shine bright on that OLED screen for you to see.

    And hey, if you're really on your game and rack up 10 correct responses, hitting that sweet 100-point mark, get ready for some fanfare! The screen will flash a big, bright "Congratulations" and the buzzer? It'll serenade you with notes in all sorts of funky tones, like your own personal victory anthem!

     

    That's it. We have developed 3 projects for you to have a fun Christmas.

    Hope you like them. Merry Christmas!

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