Microcontrollers for Educators: Implementing Computer Science in the Classroom - VA Beach Location

This workshop is hosted by Office of Technical and Career Education, Virginia Beach City Public Schools and presented by SparkFun.

Part of our mission in the SparkFun Department of Education it to provide electronics enthusiasts with the foundational tools they need to succeed in the world of maker education and electronics.

In addition to focusing on key content, we will also provide time to reflect on pedagogy, classroom management, and pacing of material. This class is designed to give a basic foundation to start working with students in the context of programming and engineering. We have run through this class with a wide range of educators from K - 12 and beyond.

Throughout the week long class, our goals / learning outcomes will be:

Teachers will be able to implement a Maker-centric classroom built around project-based-learning (PBL). Teachers will understand basics behind electricity and circuits as well as how to teach these topics. Teachers will have a general fluency and literacy with programming in C/C++, Arduino, Processing, and Scratch. Collectively, we will develop a set of lesson plans, activities, and projects to use in our classroom that integrate microcontrollers, programming, and electronics.

Some of the tools we will use are the Processing programming language, the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for Arduino, the LilyPad e-textiles line, the Micro:Bit Inventor’s Kit and the SparkFun RedBot robotics platform.

Note: Please install the Arduino 1.8.5 (or the latest available version) software on your computer before class. Click here for instructions on installing the Arduino software.

In addition, please install Processing and Fritzing as well. We will go into more depth for how we use these free and open-source tools in the classroom.

Professional Development Credit This class is good for 3.0 graduate credit hours through Colorado State University continuing education with an additional payment to be collected at the time of the class. Paperwork for credit will be available during the first and second day of class.

Materials included in this class include:

Prerequisites: This class is exclusively for instructors and educators who want to learn how to implement physical computing, programming and electronics into their classroom. There are no prerequisites for this class, however, the class requires that participants have the physical dexterity to insert wires into a breadboard (the physical equivalent of inserting shoelaces into the holes of sneakers).

What to bring: Please bring a laptop (including all administrative privileges and passwords) and ideas about what a STEM classroom looks like for you. We will explore these ideas throughout the week. If you do not have a laptop, SparkFun laptops will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Course Syllabus

Date July 16-20th, 2018

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm (with a break for lunch from 12:00pm-1:00pm)

Cost: $1000 per participant (includes more than $400 worth of take-home classroom hardware). A 10% refund will be given to groups of 3 or more who register together.

Location: The Advanced Technology Center

Instructor: Jeff Branson

Out-of-town Lodging, Transportation, and Activities

There are a number of options including AirBnB and HomeAway

We will NOT accept walk-ins for this class, only registered participants will be accepted. Thank you for understanding.

Please note that this class can be canceled three weeks prior if we do not meet a minimum of 12 participants


Note: Class registration is fully refundable until the weekday (M-F) prior to the class at 5:00pm MST. Please call to do so. If you wish to cancel after that time, or miss the workshop for any reason, we will transfer the amount you paid to SparkFun store credit, but cannot issue refunds. Thanks for your understanding!

Class Times
  • Monday, July 16, 2018
  • 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday, July 18, 2018
  • 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Thursday, July 19, 2018
  • 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday, July 20, 2018
  • 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Price $1,000.00
Slots Available 20/26

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