By Abbey Hudecki
As someone with an unusually large number of friends in engineering, I decided to take Electronics for the Rest of Us to try and keep up- somewhat- with the conversations my friends were having. Despite going into the workshop never having heard of an Arduino before, looking back on the course I am amazed to have learned so much in so little time, without ever feeling overwhelmed.
On the first night of the course, the instructors walked us through the most basic principles of connecting an Arduino to your computer, and gave us simple challenges to get us comfortable with the equipment. These challenges naturally progressed, and on the final day, we were given a more independent challenge to apply some of our knowledge.
My project consisted of three parts. The first was an RBG LED light would change its colour depending on the temperature in the room, going from blue to red. Once the highest temperature was sensed, and the LED was completely red, a short but sweet song played out to inform you that the machine had detected non-ambient room temperatures. Finally, to spice it up a little, the machine would also respond to movements by lighting a second LED. The more active your movements, the brighter the light would get. As you can see, I had inadvertently created The Ultimate Night Club Machine (patent pending).
In all seriousness though, if you are curious about electronics or how stuff works, I would strongly encourage you to take this course. You can explore on your own, knowing there is always someone nearby to help, and it can completely change your attitude towards electronics for the better. The satisfaction of looking at your functioning machine at the end of the three days is pretty amazing, and definitely something you can brag to your friends about— engineers or otherwise.