Students learn better by doing rather than by listening passively to presentations. One of the easiest introductions to electronic circuits and programming is to have students write simple programs.
We do this using an inexpensive, open source product called Arduino®. The Arduino Uno is a circuit board that contains a microprocesssor. It connects to the computer using a USB cable and can be programmed using the free Arduino software.
Simple electronic components (e.g., LED lights, resistors, LCD display, and so on) can be connected to the Arduino Uno to make simple projects.
How we can help
EXCSL contributes Arduino circuit boards and electronics component kits to schools and conducts fun workshops to teach students how to make simple projects by using these components and programming the Arduino.
We will conduct training sessions once every week or two weeks based on the preference of the school authorities. Each session will last for 60 to 90 minutes.
A minimum of 6 to 12 sesssions is recommended.
Arduino kits — at least one for every two students
Computer — at least one for every two students (provided by the school)
To assess students’ knowlege and interest in electronics and programming
To introduce students to the Arduino
To have students write a simple program in this very first session. This will realize that they can do it!
Ask the students to form pairs.
Have each pair sit in front of a computer (provided by the school) where an Arduino Uno and its USB cable have been set out. The electronics components are not required for Session 1.
Briefly explain to the students what the Arduino is.
Look at the Arduino circuit boards together.
Students will download and open the free Arduino software on their computers.
Students will connect their Arduinos to their computers using the USB cable (provided).
Write the first simple program together. Explain the syntax of writing a simple program in the Arduino software. Program the Arduino to make a light on the circuit board go on and off.
For each pair of students, visually looking at the program written by them and see a demonstration of their program making the light go on and off.
A five multiple choice questions quiz.
To review what was learned in Session 1.
Introduction to “breadboarding” (i.e., using a simple device called a “breadboard” to connect electronic components to the Arduino).
Introduction to resistors (including identifying them by their color code)
To learn to connect external components using a breadboard
To write a longer, multistep program
Show the breadboard and explain what is and why we will use it along with the Arduino.
Show some resistors and explain their color coding
Connect an LED light through a resistor in a circuit with the Arduino
Together, write a program to make the external LED light blink
For each pair of students, visually looking at the program written by them and see a demonstration of their program
A five multiple choice questions quiz
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