Woops, I mixed up that megawing add on board with the Papilio FPGA board. We Don't need the add on board to start learning with the $50 Papilio board, though the add on board and free book sound like an ideal beginner package.
If we did get 1 Papilio and 1 megawing, we could set up a nice educational display showing how high school students can work on their own stand alone video game system. We would just load the Arduino emulator and get it to output a test pattern minimally controlled by a joystick. So by doing that we would obtain a beginner oriented FPGA system while also educating and entertaining the ingenuity audience.
A second device which would educate and entertain both us and the igenuity audience, is this $40 6 degrees of freedom position sensor:
This sensor is also the most inexpensive position sensor that is capable of providing full 3d movement feedback for robots and drones. In other words if we want to build a decent drone some day we need this sensor.
I think the drawduino looks like a great, inexpensive project, which despite it's name doesn't require the arduino. The speaker could also be used for a cheap and easy backup/additional optical thermin project for either the arduino, msp430 or
The Stellaris is a new $5 launchpad board with an advanced 32 bit chip, 40+ gpio, etc,etc. Most Arduino's are 8 bit.
I think by spreading the budget around a bit, will will increase our chances of having at least one both popular and workable project, while also educating both ourselves and the public in new areas. That would maximize the benefit to both ourselves, the audience and future audiences.
To reduce the cost of the drawduino, we could just go with perf board, and hand out wiring diagrams printouts. That also avoids the chance of not getting the pcb back in time.
So here is my suggested budget, to maximize both our own and the audiences 'learning bang for the buck':
Learn to Solder Skill Badge Kit 150 for $275 including shipping.
4 Stellaris development boards= $5 x 4 =
$20 http://www.ti.com/tool/ek-lm4f120xl -This is roughly equal to a low end 486 computer with 64KB of memory, with GPIO,PWM,IW,etc for only $5. This is also a new device. Imagine the possibilities of an embedded rasberry pi computer with just less memory for a few dollars.
-Cost of above $210. Only $210 for 5 cutting edge technologies most of us haven't worked with yet, 2 of which where just released.
-Total cost: $1110 + $220= $1330
We can than spend $300 on the drawduino project using perfboard + additional sensors like cds, which would equal about 100 or more kits plus material for many optical
thermins (which can be set up on both Arduino and MSP chips), bringing the total to $1630. Leaving $170 for incidentals.
I really liked this idea until I found out that it needed the Papililio in addition to the LogicStart, making it around $90/unit. I am fond of FPGAs, though at this price we may be able to do better for the quantity or functionality in the FPGA world.