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Blinky Lights

I often use "blinky lights" in my classroom which are actually Inova Microlights with LEDs. They have a "dim" function that is done by blinking off and on 100 times in a second. These activities were first introduced to me in the New Teacher Institute at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA by Paul Doherty and Sebastian Martin.

As part of the Exploratorium's STEAM Conference on November 22nd, 2014 I presented with Sebastian.

All of the photos taken from that day's three sessions are available on my Flickr page here.

The powerpoint that contained examples of activities and suggestions is available as a pdf; if you prefer the full powerpoint version please email me. The activity sheet that was included in participant's materials is available as a google doc or a pdf.

Paul Doherty's page details how to find the blink rate of the lights and other activities.

Frequency of newest INOVA lights have been found to be 500 Hz on the "dim" setting and 3.2 Hz on the slow blink setting.

Parts for cheap Blinky Ligh which produces a blink rate: 3.2 Hz

- Gumdrop LED

- button cell battery (CR2450)

- masking tape

Sebastian's Blinky Lights on Flickr:

"Light Traces - Baseball" on Flickr:

Light painting hand-out (Exploratorium "Tinkering Studio" activity using LED lights):

Best of Lights, Camera, Motion!

The lab that I used this year involved students completing 8 different activities that we photographed and then uploaded. One year I ran two cameras so that I was able to download quickly. They were able to analyze their photos once they were posted on my website from laptops. There were 20 questions about the photos that they qualitatively answered in complete sentences. If you worry about time, you can use stock photos or have them work on another activity until the photos are shared.