Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Power and Challenge of Arduino

Working with the Arduino microprocessor platform is challenging. It teaches many lessons to teens and adults alike that are worth listening to.  Precision matters. Reading the fine print and following directions pays off. Learning how things work and how to diagnose an error takes time and can be boring anf frustrating. It helps to collaborate and ask others what they think.

We're learning to take the code and run with it. If the piezo buzzer is playing Monster Mash, what else can it play? How do we change its tune? If the LCD screen says, "Hello world," how can we change that to say a different message? How do we adjust the code to do what we want it to do?

Adding sound and sensory shields to our Arduinos is a big step and we are still working out the details and complications of them. But we are not stopping at the introductory stages. We are pushing ourselves to learn more about how things work and why. We are constantly surprised by how patient our teens are and how willing they are to hang in there for the long haul.

It's not enough to be a user or a consumer. We want to be the makers and creators.

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