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Local Arduino Day event is April 1 at Pacific Collegiate School

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By Malcolm Rieke
Special to Santa Cruz Tech Beat

March 16, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

Arduino combines coding with electronics and is an excellent beginner platform for exploring and engaging in STEAM.

In support of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) at Pacific Collegiate School, we are hosting an Arduino Day event on April 1, 2017.

  • Arduino Day
  • Saturday, April 1, 2017
  • Pacific Collegiate School, Santa Cruz
  • Free and open to public. Register here.
  • Schedule:
    • 9am -10am – Open Display Hall
    • 10am – 12noon – Beginner Labs/Lecture sessions (Beginner workshop is for all ages but children under 12 require an adult to be with them.)
    • 12noon – 1:30pm -Lunch (get/bring your own)
    • 1:30pm – 3:30pm – Advanced Labs/Lecture sessions

Student works on Arduino project. (Source: Intel IQ)

Arduino Day is a global, 24-hour event that celebrates the birthday of Arduino. Arduino is an Open-Source hardware platform supported by an easy to use Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with a thriving and vibrant community. Arduino combines coding with electronics and is an excellent beginner platform for exploring and engaging in STEAM.

The event will consist of an Open Hall where community participants can come to display and discuss their Arduino projects. We will be offering two Workshops, one beginner level and one intermediate level. In the workshops, participants will get hands-on experience with Arduino ranging from a beginner level “hello world” project to a intermediate level project focusing on coding data and control structures. We will have an open workshop where Arduino enthusiasts can bring and work on their projects together. We are also seeking volunteers to do lectures on anything Arduino related.

About Arduino

A search of the web and Youtube will show you that there is a massive amount of quality content for this platform. If you are an electronics enthusiast, a professional or hobbyist coder, an educator, a Maker, or simply interested in Open-Source and gadgets, then Arduino Day is a great place to get started with Arduino. If you are interested in flashing LEDs, data logging from an endless array of environmental sensors, building robots, or learning to code, the Arduino universe consists of endless possibilities for building interesting, useful, and fun projects.

Arduino in Education

As part of our support of STEAM, we started a Makers Seminar that includes Arduino. The seminar is once per week for 45 minutes. In the seminar students are gaining experience and familiarity with electronics and coding concepts in a fun and interactive way. On of the major difficulties in teaching programming are the countless levels of abstraction that need to be communicated to and understood by the students. With Arduino, data structures become LED lights, code segments become patterns of flashing lights, control structures change those patterns. When the student makes a change to the code, they see a tangible easy to comprehend change right in front of their eyes in the real world. Arduino takes the boring out of STEAM and allows students to make real-world projects driven by programming and electronics, providing them a tool set to engage and design solutions for real world problems. If you are an educator looking to enhance your STEAM program this event is a good way explore how to get started with Arduino.

Arduino in the Community

Arduino Day is a community driven event. The Santa Cruz community has been a driver for the development of some of the coolest technologies. If you are a STEAM enthusiast, a maker, an educator, or are just interested in learning more, come and participate in this global celebration of Arduino. If you have an Arduino project you would like share, bring it along to display in our Open Hall event.

Seeking Volunteers

We are also seeking volunteers and experienced Arduino enthusiasts to participate in this local event to provide helping hands, lectures, and assistance with the workshops.   For more information see our pin on the globe at https://day.arduino.cc/#/, the Arduino website at https://www.arduino.cc/, or contact the coordinator for the event via email me at malcolm.rieke@gmail.com.

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