The 16-week course contains lectures, workshops and design projects that will introduce students to key engineering skills. The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit v4.1 Curriculum includes instructor resources such as a syllabus, worksheets, sample code, quizzes, a glossary and more.
Grade level: 10-11
- Class time of 50 minutes
- Class size of 30 students
- Students working in groups of 2
- No prior coding or circuit building knowledge of students
Textbook (included in kit):
The SIK Guide 4.1 is a great reference though this course does not follow the book’s project-based approach.
Materials and equipment needed:
Required: Arduino Kit
Additional materials suggested for design projects:
- Corrugated or sturdy cardboard
- plastic straw
- hot glue, craft glue, or tape
- wire cutters
- male-female jumper wires
- hole punch
Software – Computer Setup:
In order to compose and upload code the Arduino board, Arduino IDE software and drivers must be installed. The free software is available for download at https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software
Notes, Tips, and Advice
The nature of programming and electrical engineering is that there is a certain amount of overhead and prerequisite knowledge a student needs to have before anything useful and fun can be built. Throughout this course, I’ve tried my best to keep the labs and design projects interesting and connected to the thematic unit however that is not always entirely possible. If students have questions about parts of projects that aren’t strictly from the current lesson, use your discretion on how much you want to use it as an opportunity to teach and how much you want to keep the focus on completing the work to make progress toward greater learning on the horizon.
Notes about Labs and Design Projects: Lab instructions are organized with the following challenge levels:
Step-by-step following directions for wiring and copy and paste code. Most have extensions for students to explore modifying code.
Step-by-step wiring with an opportunity to complete code to make the project work. Incomplete code and coding solutions are included.
Open-ended instructions allowing for the student to engage in problem-solving by adding additional components and code
Some projects exist on the breadboard and are typically referred to as “prototypes” while others include creation and craft components and are referred to as “projects”.