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 a computer executes instructions
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 which 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 by 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. object-oriented)
protoboard
a board which 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)
upcycle
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