Posted on Feb 7, 2014

In order to avoid any soldering mistakes, I asked students to place all there resistors in the board first, and once I checked them, they could solder away. Capacitors were next, then LEDs then everything else. The middle school class had more success with putting the kits together quickly. Maybe soldering was more of a novelty for them They comp

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leted their boards within two classes, but the high school students had the potential to drag the process into a third class. Rather than do that, I finished all but one of the boards. There was one high school student who completed his Freeduino over the weekend and worked on the Proto Shield from Adafruit in class. A few years back, I took a summer physical computing class at Parsons with Dan Mikesell. For our first circuit he gave us the following schematic and image to work with: I like this assignment because it introduces an IC chip, the NE555 Timer, and it makes an awful noise when it works. I also like it because initially it seems hard, but when students take a moment to think about the connections, it turns out to be quite simple. I always tell students to start with the GND and Vcc pins and go from there. It`s like solving a puzzle. After displaying the schematic, I hand out a bag with the components. For each student, or group of students, I remove the components from the bag, name them, and describe their function. Then I leave students alone to figure out the wiring. Today was Middle School Physical Computing and it was the last class of the day. Everyone was exhausted, but we still managed to play with the LED Resistor Calculator and two students out of eight were able to generate annoying tones. I also purchased the Makerbot CupCake CNC for school today. Makerbot describes the CupCake CNC as a rock solid...

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