We have so much material to cover in our beginning manufacturing and engineering class that we don’t get very in depth their first year. It is mostly an introduction and some hands on experience, practice and then move on. This is true for our Arduino unit. This is most students first experience with electronics and coding, so we start simple.
This is not a how to use the Arduino, but rather a how I teach Arduino.
The first thing I have students do is to research Arduino and find a project they like using Arduino. Since they have no idea what an Arduino is, that becomes the first part of the assignment. We then have a discussion board in our Canvas class and each student will create a link to their ideas so that other students can see what other students are interested in. I have students go to: Instructables, Youtube and Arduino’s main site. There are lots of resources beyond these.
Writing your first code by HAND!
For some reason, when students write their first code by hand, they have a better
understanding of some of the syntax to the code. The first thing we do is copy my code
that I am writing on the board letter for letter. We talk about each piece and the reason for their existence. The code that we write together as a class is the basic “Blink” code already written in the Arduino software. However, this student used 500 for the second delay when they were supposed to use 1000. I teach them that they need to compile their code and I or another student will be their compiler. Sometimes I tell them their error, sometimes I don’t. Once it is perfect, they can move on.
Now write your own code.
Rules: Make there be at least 2 pins used. Change the delay times to other than 1000.
This student’s code shows 2 errors.
Students then draw your Schematic that you will wire.
We then open up the Fritzing software and the students have to wire up the Arduino in the software. This has proved to be the hardest part, but once they get this figured out, the actual wiring works out.
Type your code in the Arduino IDE software
Wire up and upload your code to make the assignment complete.
Students can now work independently on their specific projects and we have a base of knowledge to work with.