Propeller 2 Live Forums, Python Distance Learning Course for 200 Educators, and a Sneak Peak

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Three Presentations Already Scheduled!

Propeller 2 Live forum - early adapter series

Parallax will be announcing the official Propeller 2 release in Q4 2020. Until then, we’ll mature the programming languages, software, documentation, and run a series of informal Early Adopter meetups. Keep in mind these contributors are quite far along the learning curve and probably using low-level languages to demonstrate their projects, but in time we’ll all be able to use their examples. You’re invited to attend or just watch, and see the Propeller 2 ecosystem start to grow. The following are scheduled:   

Testing Hardware with TAQOZ in ROM with Peter Jakacki
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 08:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Display, GUI, and Multimedia Options with the Propeller 2 with Raymond Allen
Wednesday, June 24, 2020 08:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Multi-language Development with fastspin/flexgui with Eric Smith
Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

These will be announced soon: Propeller 2 MicroPython with TeamOz; Debugging with Chip Gracey; and Smart Pins with Jon Titus. YouTube videos will be posted after each presentation. You can register, track, and follow the developments of this series on the Propeller 2 Forums.  

Now Accepting 200 Educators into our August Distance Learning Course!

Distance Learning Course for Educators highlights

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Parallax has trained 415 educators in our distance learning program. Our smallest workshops had 30 educators and the largest enrollment was 85. Now that we’ve figured out how to run these effectively with breakout rooms and plenty of Zoom support, we’re pushing the limits and accepting up to 200 educators into our final course of the season scheduled for August 3rd, 5th, and 7th.

Qualified educators are teaching coding, cybersecurity, engineering technology or a related field from middle school through university level. Each educator receives a free cyber:bot and three days (1.5 hrs each day) of hands-on training with Parallax over Zoom.

Disinfecting Parallax Hardware Between Students

Disinfecting Parallax Electronics Between Uses

Educators are asking us about how to disinfect Parallax hardware before it is sent to students, shared between them, or returned to school. We created a short video to demonstrate the process. Simply turn the power off, spray or wet the hardware with 70% alcohol (isopropyl, available at a pharmacy) and use a lint-free cloth to wipe it down. The alcohol kills viruses and evaporates quickly. 

We are also drop-shipping our kits directly to students on school purchase orders, for no additional cost. Simply provide us with a list of shipping addresses by e-mail. This spring, we have shipped our kits directly to teachers, superintendents, students, parents, or wherever requested. We’ve “pulled out all the stops” to make distance learning easier. 

P2X8C4M64PES (Propeller 2) in Stock with Limited Quantities

Propeller 2

We quietly made these available for sale yesterday. Until we take delivery of our first production lot (estimated Q4 2020) we have a limited quantity of just over 2,200 chips available for purchase. We’ve also reserved some for the Propeller 2 Evaluation Board and a Propeller 2 Module. We’ve scheduled the next build of Propeller 2 Evaluation Boards Revision C for late June, and until that time we do not have any chips mounted on printed circuit boards (PCB). Early adopters and product developers may wish to buy some of these for their PCB designs while the community progresses the programming tools. 

Scribbler 3 Robot is on Sale at $149 (32% off!)

Scribbler 3 Robot on Sale

We’re a little bit overstocked on the popular Scribber 3 robot.

The Scribbler 3 is a durable, fully-assembled robot for elementary and middle school students. One of our middle school teachers has used them almost daily for seven years! Students will quickly tell you that the Sharpie pen port in the middle is their favorite feature, but there’s so much more and it’s all easily accessible in BlocklyProp. These features include high-resolution encoders for distance-based travel, infrared emitters and receivers for object detection and line following, phototransistors for light following or avoidance, a powerful speaker, LEDs, a stall sensor on the rear wheel, and an expansion port for servos, Ping))) Distance Sensor or other uses. 

The educational resources are complete with classroom-ready tutorials for 30 hours of coding activities. Educators may request an account to access the assessment material, which includes teaching guides, scope and sequence documents, standards alignment matrix, and FAQs. 

We’ve got 600 S3s in stock and we’re putting them on sale through June!

Sneak Peak: Edge I/O Adapter for micro:bit for Python on Breadboards

Edge IO Adapter for microbit for Python on Breadboards

Educators have told us they’d like Parallax to expand our Python course material into a distance learning program for their students, with a goal of a low-cost Python learning kit with circuit building and Parallax tutorials. As we began our research, we realized that most of the micro:bit breadboard adapters didn’t provide enough breadboard power and relied on the micro:bit’s 90 mA power supply to drive motors. Well, that’s not enough current. With the Edge I/O Adapter we’re plugging the micro:bit’s battery pack directly into the adapter. The micro:bit is powered by the adapter, which also provides battery power directly to the breadboard – providing enough to drive servos and sensors!

This little product should be available in the coming weeks at a low cost (i.e., the price of your lunch or less). You can also expect to see it in future Parallax kits, too. 

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