Recent Posts in the Education Blog

An experiential learning project to teach students in high school and college how to use embedded electronics to accomplish things in the field as a proof of concept. - By Daniel Blake

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Soldering together a robot solder badge and a WeevilEye kit.

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Courtesy of Terrence Fagan, Engineering Chair at Central Piedmont Community College. Terrence has done a lot of great work in engineering education and outreach in his community. He had the opportunity to attend the Fab10 Symposium in Barcelona last July. When he started telling me about his experience there, I felt it was a must for a blog post.

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Learning the art of soldering at Craftsbury Public Library!

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High-­school science teachers can radically reduce the cost of building up science labs while giving students opportunities to engage in genuine design processes by introducing them to open­-source hardware. A vast collection of free and pre­-designed low-­cost scientific tools are available, many of which can be printed on a open­-source 3­D printer, including the printer itself. Not only can students benefit from access to research grade equipment, there are ample opportunities for students to build on, improve, and customize scientific tools as part of their curriculum. In this way the number and value of the open­-source hardware designs can expand with student effort, enabling a powerful motivating factor for science education.

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A recap of our Let It Glow e-card crafting class and our trip to Maine teaching at Berwick Academy.

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Last Friday at Skyline High School, rather than taking a traditional final exam, students in the Introduction to Electronics class with Ms. Vadovzski prepared poster presentations of projects that they created during the semester. Each project was required to demonstrate some type of interactivity using an Arduino and traditional electronics.

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We often teach beginning learners that the standard 16 MHz Arduino Uno is fast... really fast. 16 MHz means 16 Million cycles per second -- or that translates to 1/16 millionths of a second per cycle. That's a mere 62.5 ns. That's fast. So, is the Arduino _really_ that fast? Let's see...

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Check out this quick little hack using a standard temperature probe from my oven thermometer, our PicoBoard, and a little creative coding in Scratch!

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Garth Sundem, big-time author and GeekDad contributor, came by the new SparkFun HQ with his family. Here's what he had to say about it.

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The Hiking Hack is the first of a proposed series of research expeditions investigating the role of situated design for wild animal interaction. This mobile workshop through the Panamanian Rainforest was designed to explore how context shapes the crafting of technology and to probe the limits of constructing and utilizing DIY physical computing systems in harsh environments. It also served as a means of engaging with and reflecting upon the biological, technological and cultural aspects interplaying in modern scientific research.

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MakerCamp was a month long camp where makers, designers and mentors from different parts of the world and with varying skill sets came together to work on projects they wanted to dive deeper into. The group of participants flew in from all over the globe last month (August) to hack, make, teach, work together, and document their making process. In the end they came away with a global community of support for prototypes that can be kick-started into real life projects. As SparkFun was a partner in the camp, we wanted to showcase some of the awesome people and projects from the camp last month.

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We’ve probably used the word “maker” more times in the last year than we have in the last ten years. It’s pretty evident that making is blowing up. Makerspaces have made their way into blogs on education, hackerspaces are being featured in The New York Times, and a White House Maker Faire was held in lieu of the annual White House Science Fair this year. I think it’s fair to say making is so hot right now.

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Many schools and homes have VEX robotics systems. It's an awesome and amazing platform. I've casually mentioned to several friends that integrating VEX with Arduino is super simple to do... Here's a quick snap-shot at what we got working today.

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Karen Brennan, Christan Balch, Michelle Chung recently authored a comprehensive guide for using Scratch in K-12 space. It covers everything from Getting Started to Creating Animations, Stories, Games, and even running your own "Hack-a-thon"

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