Education Technology

Insider Tips for Winning the TI Codes Contest

Posted 04/11/2018 by Kim Gonzales, @kimsgonzales

Now that you’ve made it past the first round, it’s time to take a deep dive into your idea. What do you want to build?   How will you incorporate TI Technology to get to the next round? 

Get Familiar with the TI-Innovator Hub 

If selected to move on to next round, your team will receive a calculator (either TI-84 Plus or TI-Nspire CX) and a TI-Innovator Hub.  The TI-Innovator Hub is a microcontroller that is programmed by the calculator. It has a built-in brightness sensor, RGB LED, red LED and speaker.  With just the TI-Innovator Hub, you can build a smart night light that plays a song when it gets dark.  How can you use the TI-Innovator Hub to build your project?  Here is the link to an in-depth guide on the TI-Innovator Hub.  

TI -84 Plus CE and TI-Innovator Hub

Motors, Light Sensors and More

TI will also provide your team with additional devices that you can use with the TI-Innovator Hub.  The I/O Module Kit includes a servo motor, vibration motor, light sensor and LED. Plug these sensors into the side of the TI-Innovator Hub and then use your use your graphing calculator to program them.  Also, there are additional sensors you can purchase using the gift card that TI provided to your team for making it this far in the contest.  In the video below, check out the automatic candy dispenser that students built using their graphing calculator, the TI-Innovator Hub, a servo motor and a light sensor. 

Programming in TI-Basic

Last, but not least, you should familiarize yourself with TI-Basic, the programming language that makes all the magic happen.  With TI-Basic, you can write programs on your graphing calculator that help find the slope of a line or create a fun adventure game. You can start programming your current graphing calculator now without any special equipment by visiting .  TI provides free lessons that go over programming on the calculator. With TI-Basic, you’ll be able to program your calculator to communicate with the TI-Innovator Hub.  Don’t worry, TI provides resources on that, too.

Now you have all the tools you need to submit your project and WIN the TI Codes Contest! Good Luck and Happy Coding!