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Digi-Key and Adafruit Donated Custom Circuit Playgrounds to Girls Who Code

6/1/2017 | By Kevin Walseth

We at Digi-Key were very excited to partner with our good friends at Adafruit and Girls Who Code. Last summer, we challenged each and every one of you to help Girls Who Code further STEM education and enabled their program participants to build a better future. For every Adafruit Circuit Playground Digi-Key sold, we shared the love and donated a custom Digi-Key edition to Girls Who Code for their programs.

Custom Digi-Key Circuit Playground

All three companies share the same passion - teaching girls about STEM and technology. “We didn’t have the term Maker in 1972, but if we had it would have described our founder and how we got started. We want to see the next generation of innovators get started,” said Dave Doherty, President of Digi-Key Electronics. This is very true; the story about how Ron Stordahl started Digi-Key is amazing. A small-town Thief River Falls Ham radio user selling components out of the trunk of his car has turned his passion into a 3,500-employee business that doesn’t seem to be slowing anytime soon!

Engineering is fun but there is a stigma associated with it. People think it is beyond their capabilities, but it isn’t. Platforms like the Circuit Playground and organizations like Girls Who Code are helping make it a reality for the next group of engineers. Is it a challenge? Sure. But what is worth doing in this world isn’t a challenge? Digi-Key is committed to helping fuel that passion. Our world is all about innovation and we want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to enable that innovative spirit moving forward.

Now, more about the Circuit Playground. The platform itself is engaging. The neo-pixel LEDs provide such vibrant feedback and everything is so easy to use that it leaves the owner with the desire to do more. Even better, with all the projects that are up on and, as well as the tutorials, there has never been an easier to use platform to spark the interest in the next generation of engineers.

Here is what you get packed into this amazing 2” circle PCB:

  • 10 x mini NeoPixels – each one can display any color
  • 1 x Motion sensor (LIS3DH triple-axis accelerometer with tap detection, free-fall detection)
  • 1 x Temperature sensor (thermistor)
  • 1 x Light sensor (phototransistor)
  • 1 x Sound sensor (MEMS microphone)
  • 1 x Mini speaker (magnetic buzzer)
  • 2 x Push buttons, left and right
  • 1 x Slide switch
  • 8 x alligator-clip friendly input/output pins
  • Includes I2C, UART, and 4 pins that can do analog inputs/PWM outputs
  • All 8 pads can act as capacitive touch inputs
  • Green "ON" LED so you know it’s powered
  • Red "#13" LED for basic blinking
  • Reset button

Whether you are an experienced engineer or part of the Girls Who Code Alumni learning programming after school, the Circuit Playground is an amazing piece of hardware you are sure to love. We were so excited about this new partnership we even made a slight hack to the newest edition of Make: Magazine which features Ladyada and the Circuit Playground.

Ladyada and the Circuit Playground

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