Audience of one

Cupcakes anyone? Imagine you enjoy baking. Your spouse/partner/BFF/… is craving maple bacon cupcakes and is almost begging you to make her/him some. You’ve never made maple bacon cupcakes before but you’re willing to give it a go. Now imagine the same scenario but this time you’ve been asked to make maple bacon cupcakes for the…

Wikipedia in your classroom

We’ve done a good job training our students: ask them if they can use Wikipedia for research and you will hear a resounding no. They can even give good reasons for saying no: it’s full of mistakes, anyone can edit it, it’s not reliable, etc. Here’s the only problem with that: Wikipedia is not full…

Reaction Timer

Goal Today’s goal is to create a simple reaction timer using the Arduino. You will learn how to use a button as an input, how to use while loops, how to declare and use variables and how to use the Serial Monitor. Circuits For the reaction timer you will build 2 separate circuits: one circuit…

Basic Mindstorms Sensors

Before you start experimenting with the sensors you should have a basic background information about how the sensors work. We will be looking at two basic sensors: the touch sensor and the ultrasonic sensor. Touch sensor   The touch sensor has a button at the front that can be pressed. When the button is pressed…

Controlling 2 LEDs

Goal  The goal is to build a circuit with 2 LEDs. Each LED has to be able to be controlled independently using the Arduino. Circuit For this to work you have to build 2 independent circuits, one for each LED. Notice how both LEDs share the same ground (GND) but the plus side of each…

Images and Copyright

We’ve all done it, we’ve all used Google to find images and then stuck those pictures into presentations, lab reports and posters. If it’s on Google I can just use it, right? Wrong! What most of us don’t realize is that most of the pictures we find on Google are protected by Copyright. We could have long discussions…

Get ready for Mindstorms

Install the software Click here for the EV3 Software. Download the file and install it. Get the Ultrasonic Sensor plugin Click here to go to the download page. Scroll down, look for “EV3 software blocks” and click on the Ultrasonic sensor to download the block. Don’t delete the file after you install it: Open the…

Your first Arduino program

Programs in Arduino are know as “sketches”, to create a new sketch go to File –> New. You should now have a blank sketch that looks like the picture on the left. The first part of a sketch is setup. The setup code runs only once at the start, this is where you set up…

Install the Arduino software

Go to the Arduino website to download the software, look for “Download the Arduino IDE”. Make sure you download the correct version for your Operating System. Run the installer and open the program. You have to go through the following steps the first time you use your Arduino: Connect the Arduino using a USB cable…

Some basic Electronics

You should have a basic idea of the different components in your bag and what they do. If you’re still looking for information use these websites: Electronic components Electronic circuit symbols Now you’re ready to start building your own circuits … You need to know how a breadboard works. This image shows how all the…