Congratulations to our Spring DIY Arduino Circuit board class and the Baden Academy Nerd Battalion in their beginning mastery of what an Arduino board can do and how the Arduino can be used in making projects. The student were given a kit and learned how to manipulate and program an Arduino board.
What is an Arduino Board?
The Arduino is an open-source electronics platform that is able to read inputs and do a task. The tasks that an Arduino is capable of can range from very simple things such as using the board to turn on a light with a button, to sending a message via Twitter. Some people are even able to use the board to make an animatronic hand that runs off of an Arduino program. While those kinds of projects are much more advanced than than our students became, it is still cool to see what you could be able to create with the Arduino in the future. The truth about Arduinos is that they are capable of creating whatever you want to create! It is incredibly important to take a course like this to learn the basics of these boards to begin to understand the upcoming “Internet of Things” and Smart Device revolution!
So Why Should You Learn Arduino?
Learning how to use an Arduino board means so much more than just programming it to do something. Using an Arduino means it is the first step to opening your life to the world of STEM. The knowledge that you will retain during this course will be a stepping stone to your future in science and technology. Every engineer starts out somewhere, and usually it is through a course like this that they will find their love for STEM. When I was a student in middle school, I had no idea about the world of STEM until I did a class that was similar to this one. Doing a STEM related class was such an inspiration to me that it sparked my love for computers and technology that I immediately enrolled in other classes with STEM themes. These kind of classes mean so much more than just building and learning something, they are giving you skills and lessons that you will use for the rest of your life.
STEM Athletes in both programs learned how to effectively use the board and how to connect the board to their projects. They learned the basics of wiring their circuit board to a breadboard using wires, resistors, LED lights, and buttons. Then, while the board is connected to the computer, they programmed the Arduino board to perform the light the light, sound the buzzer, even measure and report the temperature. The experience was a stepping stone to building more complex projects in the future.
Important Skills We Learned
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
- Taking on Challenges
These core skills make everyone better prepared for the future in education and work. Along with these skills we learned how to communicate with others and how to work as a team. Being a team player is very important in STEM fields, which is why it is important for students to learn these skills at as soon as possible so they will be better prepared for their future endeavors.
So what skill level does the student have to be in order to start learning about electronics? The answer to that is simple. There is no experience required in order to begin. From experience, students less than grade 5 need a partner who is older.