Introduction: James Bond '007: Making Kids Love Arduino:
When we start coding, it seems like an impossible endeavor. It’s a lot like learning an entirely new language. We’ve all been there asking ourselves “Is coding for me" or "How am I ever going to get to a point where coding comes easy", after a few tries.
There are numerous researches suggesting the benefits of starting coding early but it's only important to start coding at an early age but it also important how we are introducing our kids to this beautiful world of coding without scaring them.
In this project, I'm sharing how to introduce kids to Arduino, a small device that can be easily programmed to control and monitor a variety of external devices like LEDs and sensors.
We are not going deep to understand what Arduino is or why LED has one leg smaller. The idea here is to let them explore and build a liking for coding.
What: To Introduce students to Arduino programming
Why: Coding is an important skill to learn.
How: Challenges and Game on Tinkercad Circuits
Grade: 4 and above
- Computer, Window or Mac,
- Internet Connection
- Tinkercad Account
Step 1: Getting Startred
- Go to the link above and log in to your Tinkercad account. Click on Copy and Tinker.
- Now click on the Code icon at the top right.
- Make sure that you have selected Blocks in the drop-down menu.
- Adjust the size of the blocks by zooming in, so that we can read it nice and clear.
Step 2: Lets Tinker
I still remember the joy I felt when I first wrote a program to blink an LED. It really excited me and introduced me to the possibilities of Arduino for making interesting and interacting projects.
Begin by clicking on Start Simulation and theLED will start blinking.
What's Going On:
- As the positive leg of the LED is attached to pin 11 on the Arduino, we have set our pin to 11 on the Blue Block.
- This BlueOutput Block sets the LED at pin 11 to HIGH, which is Arduino’s way of describing “On”. This output command will activate a 5V signal to anything connected to the specified pin.
- The Yellow Block which is the Control Block pauses the program to desired timing before going to the next instruction. So the program will pause while the LED is on for one second.
- Next, the blue output block will set the LED back to LOW, or “Off”, followed by another Yellow Block to pause the signal for a second.
- Encourage students to try customizing this code an learn a few simple programming structures and commands by modifying the blocks.
- Challenge them to blink LEDs faster until they can just barely see it blinking or adjust the sequence and timing of the On (HIGH) and Off (LOW) cycle to replicate a heartbeat pattern.
Step 3: James Bond '007
Kids love games, challenges, and puzzles and the best way to make then learn something new is to make it fun.
In this challenge, students will encode a short name or a message using Morse code and communicate it across the room to other students.
Morse code is a method for transmitting text using a sequence of short (dot) and long (dash) beeps, blips, or flashes (Learn More).
Example: Letter "C" coded in Morse code using blocks in Tinkercad Circuits(Video Above)
Students will refer to picture 1 (above) and code their blocks and try to blink the LED accordingly to communicate their message keeping in mind to leave noticeable pauses between letters and words.
Activity: James Bond '007
Supplies: Access to Tinkercad circuits, Slips with a three-letter word on them, Timer, and a copy of the Morse Code for each student.
For Teacher: Divide the students into pairs and ask them to choose a role: "Secret Agent" or "Chief of CIA"(Central Intelligence Agency). Both partners will be seated separately at some distance. Then the teacher will hand over the slips to the "Agent". Once the "Agent" completes his task, he will then share his project link to his partner, the "Chief"(teachers may help the students in sharing the project).
For Student: The "Agent" is on a mission to infiltrate the enemy's territory and get a secret code that will help the "Chief" to diffuse a bomb. The "Agent" is successful in getting the codes and now he has to send it to the "Chief" by coding the Blocks using Morse code. The "Chief" will then decipher the code correctly and defuse the bomb(the teacher will stop the timer). You have only 15 minutes to complete this task.
Can You Save The City? The Time Is Ticking... Tik...Tok... Tik... Tok !!