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$3,124 pledged of $6,000 goal
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$3,124 pledged of $6,000 goal
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About

The Avocado Beginner Board

The Avocado Beginner Board makes learning programming simple, fast, and fun. With the Avocado Beginner Board, our Lab Notebook, and an Arduino (not included), you can learn how to program at a fast and engaging pace. 

Why the Avocado Beginner Board?

Thirty years ago, my first program was "Hello World!" in BASIC. In 2013, when I showed my 10-year-old some beginning programming books in Python, she wasn't impressed or interested. In the present age of 3D computer graphics with millions of colors, text-based output is lame. Nowadays, everyone wants to code iPhone Apps. The problem is that iPhone Apps are complex and difficult. They're not a first step into programming. While there are a few software packages that produce fun output, they don't teach programming languages that are used in the real world. Usefulness in the real world is why the Arduino platform attracted me. With the Arduino microcontroller, beginners learn a simplified version of the C programming language and use it to create fun programs that make real things work. 

Although Arduino is easy to program, it can be a pain to setup.

In order to execute a small program that turns on three LEDs, you need six jumper wires, three LEDs, three resistors of a certain value, and a breadboard.

This is where the Avocado Beginner Board adds value.

With the Avocado Beginner Board, no wiring is needed. Nine LEDs, two sensors, two switches, and a speaker are permanently wired to a sturdy circuit board that snaps right into an Arduino microcontroller. With the Avocado Beginner Board attached to your Arduino, it is fast and easy to create programs and see instant results.

Why the Lab Notebook?

One of the great things about working with the Avocado Beginner Board is how quickly you can iterate and experiment as you learn. This is facilitated by the Avocado Beginner Board Lab Notebook. Just like a science class, students learn through iterative experiments of increasing complexity. The book begins with an introduction to the scientific method. Each lesson then starts with fundamental programming principles, a review of the commands that will be used, and an example program. After coding and executing the sample program, problems are presented that require the student to synthesize and apply their learning in new ways. Students quickly change and execute their modified code to test their assumptions. This iterative approach quickly builds problem solving aptitude, a critical skill for any person in a technical field.

The Functional Prototypes

Three assembled Avocado Beginner Boards prototypes have been produced. The initial PCB design was sent to a professional PCB maker to qualify the design and verify the quality of the supplier. Upon receiving the bare boards, I assembled the first board myself. The other two boards were assembled professionally to test the production process and obtain accurate quotes for assembly. All three boards were tested and verified to be working as intended.

The first 12 of 20 example programs in the Lab Notebook are already written. It will be professionally published as an 8.5" x 11" perfect-bound book. Presently, I expect it to be 75-100 pages. An answer key for all the problems will be included at the end of the book. 

The Production Plan

With this Kickstarter, we intend to make a minimum of 100 boards. The funds requested will go toward procuring PCB boards, the electronic components, professional assembly, and publication of the Avocado Beginner Board Lab Notebook. Based on real data gained from producing the prototypes, discussing modest ramp up with the vendors, and economies of scale, I have high confidence in my ability to deliver the product on time. All vendors are American companies shipping from US cities. Final assembly and testing will occur in Albuquerque, NM. The initial Kickstarter orders will ship from our business headquarters in Albuquerque, NM.

Stretch Goals

Yes, if we meet our initial goal, we will be announcing stretch goals. I've already got several ideas for awesome stretch goals that will enhance the Avocado Beginner Board, delivering more value to our backers.

The Avocado Electronics T-shirt

Risks and challenges

Because the prototype is quite far along, the main work left to accomplish is the completion of the Lab Notebook. Writing must be finished, then it needs to be copyedited and formatted before it is sent to the professional printer. I have extensive experience writing non-fiction, having authored journal articles and a PhD dissertation. I am also experienced in writing for young scientists. Over the past few years, I've written a handful of grade-school science lab lessons for parents to work through with their children. I don't expect any difficulty in completing the Lab Notebook.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thanks for supporting the Avocado Beginner Board!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    An awesome Avocado Electronics T-Shirt with our 70's style retro logo.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Early Bird Geek: For the more adventurous, receive an UNASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board kit and one professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. This kit requires soldering all components onto the Avocado Beginner Board.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Early Bird: Receive a beautifully ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board and one professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. NO SOLDERING.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Early Bird STACKABLE!: Receive a beautifully ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board with STACKABLE HEADERS and one professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. NO SOLDERING.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Early Bird Personalized: Receive a beautifully ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board and one professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. The Lab Notebook will be personalized with a note inside the front cover and be signed by the author. NO SOLDERING.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Proud Geek: Logo T-Shirt + UNASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board + Lab Notebook.

    For the more adventurous, receive an UNASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board kit and a professional printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. This kit requires soldering all components onto the Avocado Beginner Board.

    We will also include an awesome Avocado Electronics T-Shirt with our 70's style retro logo.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    International Geek: A limited number of kits available for international shipping. For the more adventurous, receive an UNASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board kit and one professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. This kit requires soldering all components onto the Avocado Beginner Board.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Logo T-Shirt + ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board + Lab Notebook. Receive a beautifully ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board and a professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. NO SOLDERING. We will also include an awesome Avocado Electronics T-Shirt with our 70's style retro logo.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    International Early Bird: A limited number of kits available for international shipping. Receive a beautifully ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board and one professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. NO SOLDERING.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Logo T-Shirt + ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board + SIGNED Lab Notebook.
    Receive a beautifully ASSEMBLED Avocado Beginner Board and a professionally printed Lab Notebook. Inside the Lab Notebook, you will find instructions for 20 beginner projects. The Lab Notebook will be personalized with a note inside the front cover and be signed by the author. NO SOLDERING. We will also include an awesome Avocado Electronics T-Shirt with our 70's style retro logo.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (30 days)