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Topic: Starting Arduino Project At High School (Read 16719 times) previous topic - next topic


Sounds great
If you get stuck you know where to turn to. I don't like meaningless assessment either. Countless  educators are happy to see small percentage improvement but don't know real learning only happens when the students go home and read on and even study topics that aren't covered, out of self interest. You can't find normalized gain if student understands topics not even taught. The gain would be infinity. That is what teaching should be. To motivate. Not to shower a bunch of knowledge points and see the percentage that are retained.


Oct 10, 2011, 05:57 pm Last Edit: Oct 10, 2011, 05:58 pm by millis Reason: 1
Last Wednesday I introduced them to the Arduino using mine that was only blinking.  I showed them how to change a variable in the program to speed up or slow down the blinking pattern among the five LED's

It's going to take a lot more to impress them - I realize this, so I asked them to take the initiative and discover what's being done with the Arduino and select something to do that they may have an interest in

This week I plan on creating a very simple interactive device that takes input then provides motion, lights and sound.  If they don't have any direction, I'll ask them to reproduce what I've done or have them start at the beginning, blinking the #13 LED on their Uno and moving on from there.

It's funny how so many of them look at something like a simple robot and think it's a five minute project.  It's sad how many give up when they realize the activity requires more than five minutes to accomplish AND it requires them to think.

A civilization that allows themselves to be controlled by others deserves the inevitable bondage.

I wouldn't touch that if I was you.


I blame video games and society. We are only educated to be skilled workers and can do paper work. On the other hand, if you can sneak video game elements into your teaching, you can get more attention from your kids. A couple decades back when I was a kid, I'd be thrilled to play a round of a video game, any kind of game. Fast forward to 2011, kids have seen them all and don't get the thrill seeing anything anymore. Take a look at this thing:

It is a persistence of vision display. You can display anything on it like "Welcome" but I chose to display angular speed and acceleration for my lab. Most of my college students liked it. Kids love it. It's not very hard to build.


thanks liudr

I am contemplating using a separate battery pack for the project I'm creating for tomorrow's presentation.  Anyone have an idea what battery requirements and connectors would be sufficient for an Uno operating one or two small servos, 8 LED's and a speaker?

I wouldn't touch that if I was you.


thanks liudr

I am contemplating using a separate battery pack for the project I'm creating for tomorrow's presentation.  Anyone have an idea what battery requirements and connectors would be sufficient for an Uno operating one or two small servos, 8 LED's and a speaker?


I'd try a lipo (Lithium polymer ion) rechargeable battery. The 9V battery is usually too weak. In case you have a bunch of AA, have at least 5 in series.


Hi all,

I'm starting a similar project for my students... (16-year old, no knowlegde in IT for now...located in Antwerp, Belgium)
Starting from scratch as they don't have any knowledge of electronics what so ever.

I found this: http://electronics.flosscience.com/ to explain them the basics of electronics combined with the arduino board.

I'm a hardware instructor, and this will be the first time i'm going to tackle the arduino-robot project.
My goal is to create a simple autonomous robot with my students and i've got half a schoolyear time to get to that.
Starting in January... buying Arduino kits next week.

Hope we can all learn from this forum topic... looks promissing

Regards and success


Thanks StijnK!

Rather than "redefining the wheel" (because I'm lazy - ha) I will be relying mostly on tutorials already created and proven to be helpful rather than creating my own.  And why not, eh?

I am approaching my project with very loose, almost zero guidelines - the deployment of the Arduino project in my curricula is an experiment in itself.  For example, I'm only requiring students to provide their own Arduino Uno's and a basic starter kit.  I'll help them a little with programming and understanding a few electronics fundamentals, but I want them to take gigantic steps towards creating a project that captures a personal interest.

I realize there are no real shortcuts to understanding electronics, programming, and so forth, and I am aware the path we're taking is probably not be the most efficient, however in the past I've asked students to participate in activities which, seemed fairly dull or too time consuming (building a prototyping board from scratch, for example).

Although there will still be a learning curve, the Arduino Uno will help students enter the realm of electronics very quickly and allow them to access a gigantic community of support, while spending very few dollars in the process (at least initially - ha).  I want my students to experience the satisfaction from coming up with an idea then working out all the problems in order to have a successful result.  That simple two-step process is the epitome of learning, in my opinion.  Ironically, from an educator's point of view, this methodology is critically missing, almost nonexistent in contemporary secondary public education.

So, I'm anticipating some negative criticism from my far-left brain peers who take a much more structured approach to learning - that's understandable, no problem.  I also want everyone to know I'm interjecting these microcontroller-related activities as accessory projects to our mainstream curricula and also during optional, after-school meetings.  It is my greatest hope that at least a few of my students will embrace the world of electronics and go very far with it, hopefully even using this to positively influence future careers.

Thanks everyone!
I wouldn't touch that if I was you.


I have a thought: you make a couple of cool projects, show them to your students. Then let them choose which one they want to do, then give them tasks to finish each part of their projects. If they don't see the end results, they don't have much motivations to work hard. Kids these days lack any type of imagination, probably ripped away from media overexposure of everything real or not. If I do a project, I imagine the outcome in my head and that keeps me working hard to get there.

Hint: Americans love cars. Do a project that you can use on a car like this one I did maybe:


Overnight it became featured and has received about 4K views.

FYI, I have not driven blind-folded yet. I need my own garage to do that.


I'm not sure if that works for every student. There are also students who don't have it in them... students who don't see the link between hardware and software, between an arduino board and your automatic parking system... So you need to help them A LOT ! taht doesn't mean they are not motivated...

I agree with millis to take small steps and don't get your hopes up to much  :)
I'm using the arduino to teach them electronics (Ohm's law, Volt, resistors, diodes,...) because you can actually let them put in practice what they've seen and read about. see previous post with courses...

Putting all together they will stay motivated because they know it could go everywhere with the arduinoboard. (car, parking system, webserver, lcd-screen, mini bots,...)

I promised them that we would create a small robot, but they don't know they will get thought electronics during the process XD

and now i'm going back to look at some tutorials  :smiley-sweat:




I promised them that we would create a small robot, but they don't know they will get thought electronics during the process

I really like this approach and I plan on doing the same.

I wouldn't touch that if I was you.



Due to some minor setbacks i had to wait, and wait on my ARDX-kits but...
I got my 11 inventors kits today and started the first tests...
I got my kits from an electroshop in Dendermonde who based the kit on an ADAFruit tutorial.
Wasn't so expensive (about 80 euro's) and it came with breadboard, cables, a servo, a DC-motor, a buzzer, leds, ... you name it and it's in there :-)

Started with the blinking led and the first questions kame to mind already :-)

Hoping to have some good lessons in januari.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes.



For the one's who need it!


This can help in your classes. The explanation is short, clear, to the point... i like it!



Udo Klein

You might want to have a look at my Blinkenlight experiments http://www.blinkenlight.net. I am pretty sure that they contain some useful content for an introductionary course. And don't forget to have a look at the "measurement" experiments. Not everything on my pages is rudimentary ;)
Check out my experiments http://blog.blinkenlight.net


Hi all,

Promised in teh beginning to post some ideas and also keep you all posted on how i do this in the classroom...
Well, here goes...

Last week was my first lessen, i didn't completely devote all the hours for that week to it but just to let them knwo what we were going todo.

  • showed them the inventors kit

  • told them they would have to look for an interesting goal (like a small robot)

  • told them they had to maintain a blog with all the links, ideas, pictures, video's and progress they would make

  • showed them the first pages of the manual we use with some of the basic stuff in it...

their curiosity was visible :-)

Today i explained some basics of electricity (current (I), resistance (Ohm), power (P expressed in Watt) and so on...
I made some exercices with the formulas and then i gave them their kits.

  • showed them the manual and how to assemble

  • connect to the computer

  • upload first sketch with blinking led

Everytime I'm going to give them an hour of theoretics and some small exercices and then they can use that info for some new things to use for their robot...
This seems to work for me, and them...

I'm having fun!



We have built an online grade 11 robotics curriculum; http://bc.onlineschool.ca/course_list.php?id=1486

If you would like to buy a licence to use this curriculum or would like to buy seats for your school, please let me know.

Thank you,

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