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Cemetech Going to World Maker Faire 2017 for Sixth Year
Published by KermMartian on September 23, 2017 at 9:14:08 AM CST | Discuss this article (6)

This weekend, Cemetech is back at World Maker Faire in New York City, introducing people to learning coding and electronics with graphing calculators. This is our sixth annual presence at World Maker Faire, ever since our first visit five years ago with rudimentary displays. In the interim, we have gone through many iterations of our demos and displays, I've been joined by dedicated Cemetechians Alec "qazz42" Szigeti, Tim "geekboy1011" Keller, Thomas "elfprince13" Dickerson, and Nathaniel "Eeems" van Diepen, who have volunteered their time, effort, and money to help make our Maker Faire booth a success. We have garnered some modest press coverage, we have collected a few new Cemetech members and reconnected with old ones, but most importantly, we have introduced thousands of Faire visitors to the fact that they can learn programming, electronics, and other STEM subjects with their graphing calculators. We're excited to continue that mission this weekend.

This year, we're bringing back all of our proven displays, plus one new one that we (specifically, geekboy1011 and Iambian) created. Here's what we're displaying:
  • TI-DCC (Calculator-Controlled Model Trains): This evolution of a few-years-old project to control model trains with graphing calculators no longer requires an Arduino. Thanks to hard work by geekboy1011 and Iambian, TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition calculators can directly bitbang the DCC (Direct Cab Control) protocol, allowing the calculator to control a train through a simple H-bridge motor driver.
  • Whack-a-Mole: Built with a TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, a TI MSP432 Launchpad, and lots of RGB LEDs and light sensors, the Whack-a-Mole project was a hit at World Maker Faire 2015 and T^3 2016.
  • CALCnet Networking Demo: Four TI-83 Plus calculators connected via CALCnet, running the Flourish demo, showing how you can build and test a complex communication protocol with just the hardware your calculators provide, plus a few wires.
  • GPS Demo: A version of the GPS for graphing calculators project, allowing a calculator to communicate with a GPS module to get its latitude, longitude, altitude, the current time, and more.
  • SimpleI/O Demo: First displayed this year at T^3 2016, the SimpleI/O demo illustrates how easy it is to connect an Arduino to a graphing calculator. It shows how a calculator can read the state of pins on an Arduino to see if you're pressing a button or toggling a switch, and how the calculator can in turn control LEDs, motors, and more.
  • Sound Demo: A TI-84 Plus Silver Edition with mobileTunes and songs by Alec "qazz42" Szigeti and Thomas "elfprince13" Dickerson, plus my floppy drive music with a TI-83 Plus project.
  • Interactive calculators for games: a TI-84 Plus CE, TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, and if any of them are still working, a Casio Prizm, with games and other programs loaded.
  • "Using the TI-84 Plus" and "Programming the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus": As has become traditional, we brought copies of my books as examples of written reference material that new learners could explore outside of Cemetech. "Programming the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus" teaches programming concepts to beginners via TI graphing calculators, giving them a toolbox of programming knowledge they can bring to any programming language. "Using the TI-84 Plus" is the missing manual: a gentle guide to the vast array of math and science features available on TI graphing calculators, grounded in plenty of examples just like the ones students might see in class or on the SATs.
  • Learn to Program demo: A giant calculator emulator, with key entry from a real TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition calculator. Aims to teach visitors to write a simple guessing game in 60 seconds.

If you're in New York City, we encourage you to hop on the 7 train to 111th Street in Queens and come visit World Maker at the New York Hall of Science. We'll be there 10am to 6pm this Saturday and Sunday, September 23rd and 24th; our table is in the Maker Annex section of the Faire, in Zone 3. See you there!

Cemetech's contingent last year: Eeems, geekboy1011, Kerm Martian, and qazz42

September 2017 Articles
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» PT_ Promoted to Administrator published September 3, 2017 by KermMartian
» Popular TI-84 Plus CE Games on Cemetech published September 5, 2017 by Alex
» Cemetech Going to World Maker Faire 2017 for Sixth Year published September 23, 2017 by KermMartian