Attention Makers


Classroom fun timer and flashcard display

MAKERS: Kevin Kilzer

Fun-to-use LED display for a math intervention and enrichment classroom. The display includes timer, stopwatch, skip counter and flash card functions, and is controlled by a standard TV remote control. There is also a 6-bit binary counter, just for artistic sake. Intensity control is provided so that the display can be used in a wide range of lighting conditions. Two timer modes are provided: counting up like a stopwatch to 999 minutes, or a timer to count down from some number of minutes entered via the remote. The timers are used when conducting tests or speed challenges. For either timer, the digits display can be hidden to avoid distracting students or raising a panic near the end of the timer period. The binary counter function is included as a tribute to my father, who built one for me (in third grade) using parts from an IBM360 mainframe computer, including the 6 incandescent bulbs. The skip-counter is used to teach young children how to "count-by" some number; for example, counting by 5's in 1st grade. The flash-card display produces addition, subtraction and multiplication problems at three different levels of difficulty: numbers 1-5, numbers 1-10 or numbers 1-19. This is used for rote practice drills and competitions. This display was inspired by my wife, who is a mathematics tutor in an elementary school. The device is built using one integrated circuit, a PIC microprocessor, and the panel is made with MDF with plastic covers on the neopixels. The video and additional description is available at; narration by my wife.

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