ERU1, Fall 2017 – Nicole’s Post

By Nicole

I was lucky to be able to participate in the Electronics for the Rest of Us module and learn a very unique, new set of skills. I was hesitant at first given my very limited knowledge of electronics but I soon found that Arduino was far easier than I had imagined. The two-day boot camp introduced some fundamental principles and components of circuitry, coding and electronic devices using an Arduino board. Not only did we get to learn how to use the program, we also had the opportunity to develop and apply the logical thinking that is unique to coding and electronic design. Over the span of the module, I was able to see just how powerful the device was with all of the functions it was capable of performing with very rudimental circuit components.

The creative aspect of the course, where we made our own functioning devices, was the best way to solidify these new skills and start to integrate all of the individual functions into one code. My partner and I created a thermometer using a thermistor with visual and auditory cues that were initiated at specific temperatures. We connected an LED screen and a sound button which responded to the thermistor. At high temperatures, the screen turned red and displayed the message “it’s getting hot” while an alarm sound played. At lower temperatures, the screen turned blue and again read a message while playing the Frozen theme song. Working together and struggling through the design process gave us a deeper understanding of the Arduino components and improved our problem-solving skills with each new challenge.

As someone with interests in biology and chemistry the course was very refreshing and a great introduction to a whole new field of science and technology that is highly applicable in many disciplines. I learned the basics of electronic design and gained confidence with Arduino and programming language. I’m excited to find future projects where I can apply these skills and would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone else interested in doing the same!

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