Student Work | Mass STEM Hub

Middle School | CSIM | Activity: Blinking Sign | Collaboration Award

Check out the student work submitted for real-world industry feedback! Learn more about submitting student work to receive real-world feedback here!

Grade: Middle School

PLTW Course: Computer Science for Innovators and Movers

Submission type: Activity: Blinking Sign

Project overview: In the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Computer Science for Innovators and Makers course  middle school students learn about programming both hardware and software, and how to combine them to create interactive systems. After learning to program a micro:bit for the Blinking Sign project, students apply that knowledge to design and program an animated LED sign using letters, symbols, and images to share a message of their choosing.

Selected student submission materials:


Link to full project: click here

Select Judge Feedback: “Hello Ms. Keough’s class! I work for Moderna in Clinical Development as an Associate Director of  Alliance Management. I absolutely loved your blinking light project! It was clear that you worked very hard on this and came up with a great end product. It was fantastic to see that you worked both individually to design a specific component (a single letter) AND as a team to bring all of your components together to make a meaningful end product (a message). This is exactly what engineering is like in the industry! Being able to understand the broader project and how your piece of work fits into that bigger picture is a critical skill in STEM and it is great to see you all practicing and mastering this in just 7th grade! Keep it up! 

Another important skill within Engineering is determining how to improve on your solution for your next iteration. Have you considered other elements that you could bring into your microbit project? Perhaps an audio component could be valuable? Something that I’ve found helpful is to also think of other scenarios that your solution/technology can also be applied in. This has helped me identify other areas that I could work on to improve my technology. 

You can be surprised by the impact your engineering projects can make in the world! Keep up the great work on building your STEM skillset. It will set you up for success in any career field you choose as the skills are highly transferable!”

-Associate Director of Alliance Management, Moderna

“I am a Global Technology Solutions Director at Verizon Communications.  In my job, I work with application developers working on code that runs applications all around the world.

Thank you for submitting your class project!  The documentation was very helpful in explaining how the project came about, what was learned from it, and the experience you had for the Open House.  It sounds like some excellent ideas were discussed and good collaboration to land on a design that would incorporate everyone’s micro:bits!.  It was great as well to have the videos, both the introductory one and the demonstration of the  “History Rocks” sign in action.  I reviewed the code snippets in the documentation and can see how the pieces come together.  Well done to be able to use individual programs to work together and produce a complex operational program.  We do this type of project work in my company.  Teams work together doing individual components, then coordinate integration steps and testing to ensure it all works as designed.

I would have liked to have seen the process flow diagram for this project.  Given all the different components, I’m sure it was complicated to coordinate!

Great job, and thank you for documenting the results as well as the results learned.  We do a similar exercise with our projects, where we hold a “retrospective” session afterwards to see what went well and what could be done differently next time to be even better.  Congratulations to the team!

-Global Technology Solutions Director, Verizon Communications

Industry Award: Collaboration Award

School: Ware Junior Senior High School

Teacher: Kathy Keough

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