We kick off our first Open Build this Friday, 16 October for upper school students and will progress to all ages by the end of the month. The first individual project, a two-wheel autonomous robot, will be published within the week. Lastly, we’re planning our first Meet-Up (similar to Open Build but on a weekend once every 4 to 6 weeks) tentatively on the afternoon of Sunday, 8 November. We’ll send an update soon to confirm final details.
There’s more information below on the different activities as well as about instructional discussions related to soldering and programming. If you have any ideas, suggestions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a reminder, students (and parents) are welcome to participate as much (or as little) as they wish based on interest and availability. Weekly attendance not required. Go at your own pace.
Our first Open Build will be this Friday, 16 October from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in Woods Hall. The first two sessions will be limited to upper school students and/or parents. We will use those two sessions to iron out the logistics and ensure we can create a safe and engaging environment for our younger students. Open Build will be open to everyone starting 30 October.
What can you expect at an Open Build?
Open Build time is completely self-directed. Students can choose how they want to spend their time. Here are some of the options that will be on hand:
- Plan and collaborate on projects together, e.g., FIRST Tech Challenge, Vex IQ, etc.
- Work on group projects like WALL-E or WATT
- Work on an individual projects.
- Work on a personal project (i.e., anything the student is interested in working on)
- Participate in a 10-minute instructional discussion (parents welcome for this part too)
By the third week or sooner, we’ll add Assembly and Dis-assembly Tables to the activities. The Assembly Table will have bits and pieces that can be put together imaginatively. The Dis-assembly Table will include electronic devices that can be taken apart, e.g., old VCR, computer, television, etc.
What’s an instructional discussion?
For each Open Build, we’ll schedule a 10-minute for an instructional discussion. Call it a mini-lecture if you want.The goal is to build foundation skills across the club members and parents in bite-size chunks. Dr. Miguel Simon will get us started, but we invite other students and parents to join in with their own knowledge sharing. Here’s what we have lined up already:
October 16 – Soldering 101 – Upper School students and parents only please
October 23 – Programming skill #1 – Upper School students and parents only please
- The for() loop – learn how to
- Compile Arduino code
- Upload code to Arduino computer
- Make an LED blink
October 30 – Programming skill #2 – All ages and parents welcome from this point forward
- making decisions with if() then
- Make a buzzer go off
- Make a motor turn
November 6 – Programming skill # 3
- using variables
- Read sensor input and store value in a variable
- Make a decision with the input with an if() then block
- Make an actuator (i.e., a motor) move
- Repeat within a for() loop
November 13 – Programming skill #4
- making a function() call
- Divide a problem into small manageable parts
- Organize program executive flow by calling custom made function() calls
November 20 – Soldering 102:Intermediate Soldering
December 4 – Programming skill #5
- Making a library
- Introduction to programming objects
- Learning to reuse programming object blocks
January 8, 2016 – Soldering 201:Advanced Soldering
Individual projects will be posted online with everything you’d need to know to get started. Projects include a goal, a parts list and instructions. Any student interested in a project simply buys the parts and starts work. Projects can be done independently of other club members. They can be completed with parents. Or they can be worked on collaboratively with other students virtually or in person.
We’ll have an online discussion forum up shortly, so students can compare notes virtually with others completing the same project. For in-person interaction, students can bring their individual project work to an Open Build or a Meet up.
Lee Blakely will be publishing the first few projects, but anyone can be a project leader.