Educating with STEM Based Arduino Starter Kit
Want an activity for a family game night, but don’t have anything in mind? Pack away those games and pop open an Arduino starter kit. Arduino bot construction and programming is a great way to get children involved and interested in technology while spending quality time with them. When adults join in on the journey, Arduino building becomes a dedicated task of bot completion and pushing past obstacles. Innov8tiv tells readers what they need to know to being their journey of Arduino building with the family.
How to get started:
Starting off with reading simple texts before beginning an Arduino project is highly recommended. Why? Naturally, children are pretty curious about almost everything. There will be questions, not only about what something does, but what the purpose of at function or code is, and why a specific part is needed. On the other hand, it is always helpful to do a little research when deciding to try something new.
Innov8tiv recommends Getting Started with Arduino 2nd Edition from O’reilly, Inc. Depending on whichever marketplace you decide to use, this text sells for roughly $15. This text is light, portable and written in a clear manner geared specifically to the introductory reader. This book explains every step of the way without crowded pages of blurry text. O’reilly even refers readers to the makezine.com website where readers, both young and old, can find new projects and learn more about the Arduino movement.
John Baichtal’s Arduino for Beginners: Essential Skills Every Maker Needs is also a great text for $30. Although this text may also be for beginners, keep in mind that the goal of your Arduino project plays a huge role in selecting the text you use for reference. If you simply want to build for fun and get your kids involved, the O’reilly copy is a great way to get you up and running. Baichtal’s text would be for the family or group interested in making Arduino projects a hobby, or reference as a precursor to advanced building.
Are you an advanced builder looking for an interesting read? Don’t worry—we’ve got something for you too. Simon Monk’s Arduino & Android Projects for the Evil Genius: Control Arduino with Your Smartphone or Tablet, is super fun with awesome project ideas. Each project provides visuals and lists of the tools you need along with programming capabilities. You can get this text for roughly $25.
If you’ve got a mixture of hipster creativity and a thing for some serious building, check out Melgar and Diez’s Arduino and Kinect Projects: Design, Build, Blow Their Minds. You can get this bad boy for about $40.
Time to shop!
Shop online at either Arduino’s official site Arduino.cc or Make:’s previously mentioned site makezine.com. In addition to finding out where and how to obtain the materials and tools needed for your project, both websites contain really helpful forums and additional reference materials.
Psshhhhttt! Short on cash? Massimo Baniz—Co-founder of Arduino and author of Getting Started with Arduino—writes in section titled “We Love Junk!”, “Accumulate junk and go through it before starting to build something from scratch.” Although digging through neighborhood trash cans isn’t an idealistic approach to obtaining necessary parts, before you trash your computer keyboard or old home phone, pull them apart!
Now that you’ve completed your research and have gathered your parts and tools, set everything up on a table and begin explaining to your children the wonders of Arduino building. Having everything laid out provides visual support to your descriptions and explanations and can even get those little gears grinding and interested in independent research. After all, when you prove to be interested and dedicated to making things fun, the little ones will only appreciate the experience even more.