May 20, 2024
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RKYHS Robotics Class Builds and Codes Advanced Chanukiot

In honor of Chanukah, the students in the RKYHS robotics class, built and coded beautiful chanukiot. The students had originally planned to build the chanukiahs using the school’s 3D printer, but they decided to take a more creative approach by making them out of common, recyclable materials. They used everything from CDs to popsicle sticks to cardboard boxes to create the chanukiah. To code and wire the chanukiah, they used the electronic platform, Arduino, which enables its users to program a variety of different aspects. Before wiring the Arduino boards, the students learned how to make schematics of their electrical circuits to map out their chanukiot. Afterwards, the students were able to use small LEDs as their lights and customize everything from the blinking to the colors (using special RGB LEDs). They were also able to program how it would be controlled. Some groups used a remote control while others used a single button to control how many LEDs would flash on each day of Chanukah. In addition, they were able to use light sensors and touch sensors to control when the lights would turn on and off.

The students faced many challenges along the way, most notably, trying to figure out how to build a chanukiah in which they could fit the circuits and wires through the materials. One group attempted to build a chanukiah with a magen david drawn on a CD spinning around by way of a motor but had to work through a number of challenges to make it happen. Dr. Regev assisted them in finding a solution. They secured the CD and replaced the magen david image with keychain lights made to look like a dreidel. Many of the students faced challenges but were able to easily overcome them due to the wide variety of options they had in building and programming their chanukiot. One student commented on this stating, “My group had initially wanted to use a light sensor, but we were unable to due to technical difficulties, so we were easily able to switch to a different route, using a motor because of all of the options Dr. Regev provided us with.”

The project was a success and students appreciated that they were able to figure how to overcome their design challenges on their own. In addition, the students believed it helped them boost their creativity, as Sammy Indyk (RKYHS ‘19) said, “The chanukiah project inspired me to expand my horizons in my work and become more creative.” Other students mentioned how they have been encouraged to take the knowledge learned from this project and apply it to other areas of study.

By Shayna Mandelbaum (11th grade)

 

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