Starting Arduino Project At High School

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 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:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-reverse-obstacle-sensor-for-cars/

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.

@liudr 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 :sweat_smile:

Regards,

Stijn

StijnK: 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.

Finally!!

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 :slight_smile:

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

Hoping to have some good lessons in januari.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

Regards

For the one's who need it!

http://www.electronicsteacher.com/tutorial/basic-concepts.php

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

Regards,

Stijn

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 ;)

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!

Regards,

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, Andrew andrew@i-gate.ca

Good luck! Hopefully, students will obedient

Hi millis, I was browsing around the "Education and Teaching" Arduino forum here and I read most of this thread. So, how has your experience been teaching Arduino to your students? Any successes? Failures? Lessons learned?

Also, if this is helpful to you at all, here is a post I just made to share some of my materials with high school teachers (and others): http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=312901.0