Glossary

Abstraction
Representing a concept by hiding unnecessary details, revealing only the details that are important.
Active sensor
Sends a signal and then detects changes in the environment based on the data returned. Usually requires an external power source.
Algorithm
A series of precise instructions to solve a problem.
Analogue signal
A continuous variable signal.
API
Application Programming Interface. A set of functions used when building software.
Assets
Items needed to create a project, such as images or 3D-printed parts.
Bonding agent
Adhesive for sticking components together (e.g. glue).
Breadboard
A reusable circuit board for prototyping electronic circuits.
CAD
Computer-Aided Design. Allows precise 2D and 3D drawings and models of real-world objects to be designed on a computer.
Circuit
A path along which current flows.
Computational thinking
A set of mental skills that help to define a problem in such a way that a computer can solve it.
Constructs
The basic elements of a computer program (e.g. if/else statements).
Control flow
The order in which Input Data entered into a program (e.g. a mouse click).
Data structure
A format for storing and organising data (e.g. an array).
Decomposition
Breaking a problem down into smaller, more manageable parts.
Digital signal
A signal that is either on or off.
Digital making
Creative projects requiring technical skill and understanding.
GPIO
General-Purpose Input/Output. Pins connected to the Raspberry Pi that can be controlled with code.
Input
Data entered into a program (e.g. a mouse click).
Markup language
A language specifying the presentation and style of text.
Microcontroller
A small computer using a single chip.
Output
Data sent out of a program (e.g. sound from a speaker).
Passive sensor
Detects changes in the environment without actively sending out a signal (e.g. a PIR sensor).
PCB
Printed Circuit Board. A board connecting electronic components.
Programming paradigm
A style or way of thinking about programming (e.g. procedural, object-oriented).
Protoboard
Allows you to add components to a prototype circuit by soldering or cutting strips.
Repetition
Executing the same code multiple times (while/for loops).
Schematic
A diagram or plan representing a circuit.
Selection
Choosing which code to execute based on a condition (if/else).
Sequencing
Executing lines of code one after another.
Subroutine
A named set of instructions in a program (also referred to as a function/procedure).
Upcycled
Using materials which otherwise would be thrown away, in order to make something of value.
Variable
A named area in memory where data is stored.