Experiences with small groups?

Several folks I know are aware that I am an avid Arduino tinkerer, and they are planning to purchase themselves or their late teen kids Arduino starter kits from Radio Whack or other vendors. These folks are also aware that I have teaching experience (being a good teacher has nothing to do with knowing a subject. It's about knowing how to LEARN that subject, and knowing how to guide others to learning a subject.) so I've been asked to give an 'Introduction to Arduino' small seminar in early January.

I've been asked by three people now, and would likely stop at three or four.. I have taught before, and this is a subject which requires some babysitting. A small group would at least give a fighting chance of some success.

I am not particularly concerned about teaching a bit of a crash course, but not done so to an Arduino audience. Curriculum, there's a number of good choices. Just looking for pointers specific to Arduino if anyone has done this type of thing before. We're talking about 3-4 hours with folks at least introduced to computer programming and electronics.. The goal being overview, install IDE, and Blink, with limited q&a.

Well I haven't done any teaching, but I'm sure a good course should clearly explained that there are two main aspects to learning and using an arduino in projects and that is the whole software side (PC based IDE, arduino C/C++ sketch language programming) and the whole electronics fundamentals part of interfacing to real world input and output electronic components. The first is specific to the arduino platform and the second is more general and fundamental.

I sometimes think typically (at least in the arduino tutorials I've seen) the first part is covered more and better then the latter and the latter is generally just exposing the students to some simple example wiring diagrams and maybe some basic rules to follow rather then any attempt to start at least a structured basic electronics fundamentals curriculum?


Hi Focalist,

I would like to encourage you to do this. I'm an Engineer but I've taught everything from University level Electronics, to IBM Engineers, to MiddleSchool Robotics (my favorite) to Kindergarden Computer Demolition, and it's one of the most rewarding things to do.

I hope I can help in some way. See stuff on the ArduinoInfo WIKI here - http://arduinoinfo.info I have some starter stuff there like:


I have provided Starter Kits to several schools and Universities and gotten good feedback from many teachers. I'll be happy to give you the 10% Educational discount I give to schools. So $29 for a Starter Kit with a good Arduino compatible, many kinds of input and output devices including a servo and a 2-relay board.

A key point is for students to own and take away their starter kit, and not have things stop at the end of the class.

If you find some kid who's really into this and doesn't have the money, email me about it and I'll give you a kit for him/her.

Look over the YourDuinoStarter pages and see if you feel it's at the right level. I don't feel you need to dig too deeply into Electronics, Ohms Law etc. at the beginning. The questions will come and those students who are engaged and want to be able to do things on their own will dig deeper.

Let us know how it goes and what you end up doing...