Community Outreach and Workshops

By Nick Becker · February 11, 2016

This semester we started a project in a completely different direction than what we’ve taken before. Over the course of the past few years, the Makers Club and Robotics team at Lovett have been extremely successful in garnering interest in STEM. We have members who are athletes, actors, musicians, etc. who’ve found some sort of interest in engineering even if they only have time to contribute a little each week. At the same time, we have more and more people drop by just to see what’s going on. We get to hear what a lot of people think about us, and lately we’ve been hearing some patterns.

We’re frequently told that students love what we’re doing, and want to help out wherever they can, but have no idea how to get started. There’s an anticipated learning curve when joining a STEM club that creates a barrier for new members. To solve this, two other students and I wrote a lesson plan teaching basic programming and electronics. The gist of the lesson is a series of Arduino mini-projects exploring the fundamentals of electricity and programming. We’ve held three workshops to date, and in the coming weeks we plan on integrating a workshop request form into the site where students or teachers can send us times that work for them.

In the spirit of sharing with the community, below is the full presentation and handout we created and used for our workshops.

Listed below are the goals of the lesson plan:

  1. Learn how to approach Arduino projects going forward

  2. Learn C++ fundamentals

  3. Learn basic circuitry

The handout provides quick references for hardware, definitions, and programming syntax. The second slide on the presentation gives a roadmap of the lesson plan.