I've doubled the workshop backing reward- it's now two days of workshop!
There are three days left in the Kickstarter and I'm getting on a plane to go to Uganda tonight at midnight.
That's right! I'll be teaching no matter what happens with this Kickstarter!
I'll be writing updates from over the Atlantic, letting you know about the wonderful cuisine choices and posting pictures of the people sitting next to me as they kick off their shoes or drool on my shoulder while they doze. No! Just kidding. I'll probably be working on my free transistor based logic gate curriculum so that students everywhere can get hands-on experience with the core concepts that make up computer chips, the heart of our technological world.
So I'll be teaching anyways- I'm making this happen, no matter what. Backing will just allow me to teach more people and leave hardware in their hands to continue the learning and prototyping process. I'm one third of the way there, but I also know that it would only take two people who are interested in workshops to make this a successful Kickstarter. To make the workshop reward level more appealing I've change it from a one day workshop to a two day workshop! Now you can have a whole weekend of technology education on a wide variety of concepts. With two days it's possible to really tailor the workshop, or even offer a beginner one day and an advanced level the next.
Here are some of the workshops offerings-
Introduction to Arduino- I've taught this class for five years. Go from blinking an LED to virtual prototyping and even cover communication between machines! This class is for anyone who has never played around with Arduino before and those who have played around a little bit but aren’t entirely sure about how the basics work. It’s easier than you think! We will put together basic single component electrical circuits, learn about analog and digital, input and output, basic programming concepts and practice very basic Serial communication. Students will create three simple circuits highlighting analog and digital forms of input and output. We'll get started with the Arduino programming environment, briefly discuss programming and virtual prototyping. I’ve taught this class far more times than I can remember so I tailor this class depending on the audience’s experience level and interests.
Creating Projects Using ATtiny Chips- Interested in going from Arduino to chip based projects? Now you can learn how to use smaller, more energy efficient chips at the heart of your designs. We'll install libraries, program chips, transfer them to a breadboard, create chip and power management circuits and more. This workshop is perfect for people who enjoy Arduino and wonder what else the Atmel line has to offer.
Graphical User Interfaces, Bluetooth and Arduino- Learn how to use and configure Bluetooth to talk between your computer and a robot! Send commands from a Graphical User Interface program on your computer to a microcontroller with sensors or actuators nearby. We will do things like send AT commands to the Bluetooth unit to establish the speed of communication, light up LEDs, use the Bluetooths to control the position of a servo. We will also discuss how to configure Bluetooth parameters themselves over Bluetooth Serial communication as well as create basic Graphical User Interfaces.
Making Simple Computer Games and Controlling them from Sensors- Learn the basics of computer programming with Processing, a programming environment that allows artists and designers to quickly create fun and interactive programins in Java and other programming languages! Because it’s Open and has a large community Processing allows beginners to get started quickly and has enough libraries that more advanced users can find code examples to pursue almost any concept, from video game design and internet connectivity to Android applications and hardware integrations. Come learn the basics of computer programming while making a simple character move around the screen. Depending on interest we can even get into animation, importing images and other concepts. We'll finish the class by controlling aspects of your code on the computer with sensors as well as taking some computer game code and customizing it so you can control your very own character with your sensors.
Drag and Drop Programming with Scratch and Sensors- Interested in helping your child learn how to program? Start them learning as young as the age of seven with the fun and intuitive programming environment called Scratch. Students will use drag and drop programming to create an animated character that moves around when they press keys as well as an introduction to video game coding. Students will create a basic video game or application and flesh out their project by adding a point system, some sound or other possibilities. During this workshop students will plug sensors called Picboboards into their computers and integrate them into their scratch projects. With two days we'll definitely be able to create basic computer games, animations or even digital DJing projects!
E-Textiles, Sewing with Electronics- You can learn how to sew electronics into anything you like! Sensors, buzzers, LEDs... you name it, we can sew it into your project. You'll learn the basics of working with conductive thread, how to design and lay out your circuit before threading a needle and writing basic code to control how your project acts. E-Textiles is a very specialized field that requires a knowledge of electronics, computer code and sewing- by the end of this workshop you'll feel confident enough to continue with all three.
Making a Giant Functional Breadboard- Learn exactly how a breadboard works by creating a functional 10X breadboard and components. Great for use as a teaching tool in the classroom, based on a design by Mike Hord and the Twin Cities Maker. Students can create either a full size breadboard complete with center ravine and power rails or students can create a smaller half size breadboard. Giant components I have created include- Resistors, capacitors, dials (or trimpots), LEDs, photoresistors, buttons, an ATMega 328P PTH chip, a piezo buzzer and a battery. If you’re really into this stuff we can go as far as creating giant functional chips as well as the other components.
Prototyping Basics- Got an idea for a prototype but not sure exactly how to make it happen? During these two days of prototyping we'll go from schematic to breadboard to PCB designs and the skills to turn that PCB design into a finished project as well as concentrating on additional concepts to be chosen by student(s).
The class will start with a discussion of the design process, sourcing parts and datasheets as well as how to create schematics, logic charts and pseudocode. Then we'll cover the basics of Processing or PCB design depending on student interest. The second day we'll build circuits and discuss things like testing, design robustness. Then we'll either transfer the circuits to PCB designs or connect them to Processing through Serial Communication.
Or you can choose from the concepts above and we can create an original workshop together to suit your needs!
Thanks for your support, I hope you have a peaceful and prosperous 2015.