Coming from someone who knew nothing of the logic behind programming and has a general lack of understanding of technology, Electronics For the Rest of Us gave a solid foundation and starting point on basic programming. Students are encouraged to experiment and build their own inventions, by incorporating an interesting module with helpful tutorials and a fun project that tests your understanding of the material.
I had the opportunity to sign up for the workshop through Integrated Sciences, though both ArtSci and other programs could attend.
The entire workshop spanned two days, with the first day focusing on the basics and the second testing the newly-acquired knowledge. It began with a brief background of the course, establishing that we would be learning how to program an Arduino, a flexible programming tool used in a wide variety of technology. The first day involved learning to program the Arduino to perform simple tasks, such as turning off and on a LED and using buttons to create a controllable circuit board. As well, we were taught how to tell the amount of resistance in a resistor by looking at the strips of color (reading a table establishing the values of each strip of color printed on the resistor). Given these, a library of tutorials to use and a variety of parts (wires, resistors, speakers and circuit boards), we were prepared for our final task: making our own mini inventions.
I was honestly worried about making my own device and coding for a variety of its functions, but everything we learned came quickly and easily to me, and help was provided whenever we were stuck. The device I ended up making with my partner was a device that could record and provide data on the temperature of the room, and change its RGB LED light to a specific color (blue if it was too cold, red if it was too hot, and green for the ideal temperature). As well, when it the light changed color, different songs would automatically play on speakers depending on the above conditions. Finally, our device also had a light sensor, which, when it was dark enough, caused a blue LED to turn on.
I found this course especially helpful in that it taught a very basic programming language. The programming in the workshop was explained very well and is amazingly helpful as someone who has always struggled with learning and understanding programming languages and the logic behind them.