By Madeena Homayoun
My name is Madeena and I am in my last semester of studies at McMaster University, soon to be graduated as an Integrated Science student. Before starting, I was really nervous about the “Electronics For the Rest of Us” course. I wanted to have a guided educational experience involving electronics, but I was fearful that others in the class would be much more advanced than me, that I’d be lost with the material, or that I wouldn’t learn or gain the course credit. Yeesh.
This reflects an attitude a lot of us may have regarding electronics. Having a grasp on electronics seems to the outsider to be a mystical subject known only to those born with a natural intuition for it (we all have that one sibling who is responsible for internet and TV troubleshooting).
The instructors were also very helpful and kind and I felt that I was truly being guided and taught.
For instance, we first started with programming a light on our Arduino pad to blink on and off. Then, the assignments gradually built on each previous one and got more complex throughout the course. These included using a potentiometer to control the amount of LED light, incorporating a photoresistor, and controlling a red-blue-green LED light with a thermistor (changing the colour based on the temperature). Finally, our final assignment was to incorporate these many aspects and also explore some new functionalities to create a multi-functional device (as seen in the video attached below.)