I’m a big fan of the chipKIT WF32. It’s a powerful little board with a WiFi card and SD card reader built in, but there’s a lot more to this board than meets the eye. There are a ton of communication lines, external interrupts, output compare pins, and more hidden in all those GPIO pins, but how do you tell what is what? That’s where the WF32 pin diagram comes in. I’ve compiled, color coded, and listed what each pin is capable of.
Many of you have likely done some soldering before, but if you are like me, you may not be familiar with all the different soldering iron tips that are out there. I know that I used to be under the impression that there were only two types of soldering iron tips and only one useful type–the one currently on the soldering iron.
A decent portion of the Digilent blog content is produced by marketing interns and maintained by our blog editor and web staff . As awesome as our projects are and as important as the Learn site is, an equally as important part of the Digilent family is the engineering interns. The engineering interns primarily work on support for you, our customers. They write documentation, libraries, and FPGA cores.
Welcome to this week’s installment of the Women in STEM series. Today, I’ll be showing some women from the past who stand as amazing role models not just for those interested in STEM, but also for those who are interested in strong and brilliant human beings. I asked the marketing team at Digilent about women in STEM who had inspired them and why, and I got some great examples. I’ll include the reasons my coworkers and I think of them as role models (in captions) and a brief bio of each woman.
A few weeks ago, we found ourselves in the Digilent Makerspace tinkering with some fantastic LED strips, the WS2811 / WS2812. If you haven’t played with these yet, you really ought to. I grew up loving colored lights. Some kids threw the baseball, while I made amusing shapes on a Lite-Brite and begged to put Christmas lights in my window in mid-September. That being said, you can see how giving a weirdo like me a strip of individually-controlled LEDs, each supporting 24-bit color, would be like giving matches to a madman.
With the somewhat tempestuous history of women in STEM, it’s important to support those who are making a difference, making the world a better and more equal place. One of those groups intent on helping girls nurture an interest in engineering and building is the company GoldieBlox. GoldieBlox’s CEO, Debbie Sterling, was one of the few women in her engineering program at Stanford and wanted to encourage more girls to act on their love of STEM. So she started GoldieBlox, which is intent on providing young girls with projects they will enjoy and can engineer and make by themselves.
It goes without saying that the internet has drastically altered the ways in which we as people gather and spread information. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, it is also a fantastic resource for misinformation. We are bombarded with articles, videos, blogs, images, and status updates, but how do we know they’re accurate, and how often do we question their credibility? Everyone has that friend on one social media site or another perpetuating questionable forms of media, not giving a second thought as to the origin (my favorite are the reposts and reactions towards articles from The Onion–a satirical news source) . But why does this happen so frequently when the truth resides in the same vein as the fabrication, and digging deeper to discover the facts is often only a few clicks away?
Howdy! I’m the latest addition to the Digilent family, and I’m happy to make your acquaintance! As the newest member, my first task was to act as a guinea pig to test out our new Learn.Digilentinc webpage. After all, I was new to chipKIT, but I’m no fresh-faced newb (well… not much of a newb), I know my way around a microcontroller and this is hardly my first time blinking an LED, but I’m not a hardcore programmer or electrical engineer either, which was exactly what the Learn.Digilentinc website was created for. So I was asked to go through Digilent’s Learn site to familiarize myself with their hardware, and provide a little outside perspective on the tutorials. The following is a review of my experience with our Learn site, tutorials, and what sort of difficulties folks new to microcontrollers might have while learning the ropes on our hardware.
One of the biggest social issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is underrepresentation of minorities. Within STEM, this includes women. While women have been involved in STEM since the advent of the engineering profession (think Ada Lovelace!), their participation was restricted for a long time. While there are no longer formal constraints, women are still disproportionately uninvolved in STEM professions and education.
One of the best parts of traveling to a conference like ASEE is getting to participate in hands on workshops. I love getting to go to these, because many times, these are teaching experiences that I’ve only heard about that use Digilent products, so it was a welcome change to be able to see one in action.
I’m excited to begin our new Women in STEM series! It will be a weekly feature throughout the summer, with new posts every Thursday or Friday. In this first installment, I will discuss how women have been involved with or kept from STEM fields throughout history. A historical perspective is necessary to understand a lot of the challenges women in science and engineering face today.