Skip to content

Activity

# Saving sea turtles

Beginner | MakeCode, Python | LED display, Light sensor | 14 Life below water, Input/output, Selection

## Step 1: Make it

### What is it?

Newly-hatched sea turtles use moonlight to find their way to the sea. Tall, bright lights can confuse them. Build a prototype of beach lighting for paths that guides humans safely but doesn't distract turtles.

This project is part of a series created to offer problem-solving and prototyping activities designed to explore technology as a solution to the challenges of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

### What you'll learn

• How to make a prototype for a larger project
• How computers take readings from inputs, process the data to make different outputs depending on the value of sensor readings

### How it works

• This project uses the micro:bit’s LEDs as a light sensor input. Cover the display with your hand and it should light up with the turtle picture.
• It could be used at ground level to guide humans along a beach path at night, without confusing sea turtle hatchlings with tall, bright lights that they may mistake for the moon.
• The program uses selection to sense if the light falling on the micro:bit falls below a certain level, if it is less than (<) 100. If it is dark, it lights up the micro:bit display, else it clears the screen so the LEDs are dark.
• You may need to adjust the threshold number 100 depending on the lighting conditions where you are. If you're in a very bright place, you may need a smaller number.

### What you need

• micro:bit (or MakeCode simulator)
• MakeCode or Python editor
• battery pack (optional)

## Step 2: Code it

``````1from microbit import *
2
3while True:
4    if display.read_light_level() < 100:
5        display.show(Image(
6        "00000:"
7        "09900:"
8        "99999:"
9        "99999:"
10        "90090"))
11    else:
12        display.clear()
13    sleep(2000)``````

## Step 3: Improve it

• Create your own picture to show on the LED display
• Add an animation
• Change the display to show arrows to make sure people walk on the correct side of the path