Green, Yellow, Red - Construction, Modeling and Programming of Traffic Lights
Every day you see crossings with traffic lights, but who knows how they actually work?
If you are interested in figuring out the inner workings of traffic lights, this module is just your thing!
In this module, the students build a traffic lights model, connect it to a micro controller, model its functions and, in the end, program it. At first, the different junction types are built and then connected to a micro controller. For this purpose, various street maps and traffic lights with LEDs are offered. Furthermore other sensors are provided, like those that measure if a person or a car waits at the light. The students learn how to model states (the lights are red) and transitions (a pedestrian presses a button and the pedestrian lights turn green). Those are used in automata, in computer science those can do much more than drop soda cans or snacks. The Arduino micro controller that controls the traffic lights can be programmed freely by the students. Afterwards it is revealed to the students that their automata models can be used to generate code.
All in all, the students get to know programming as a tool. Furthermore, they learn that you need a model before you can start programming. The traffic lights model will be completely (all LEDs and sensors) created by the students and then programmed.