Middle School Computer Engineering

Taught a year of middle school computer engineering focused on Arduino technology. The class was available to 6-8th grade students and comprised of roughly 15 students.

Class description: This course will cover the fundamentals of electronics, basic electronic math, introduction to computer programming, and programmable hardware. Students will learn the fascinations of what makes cell phones, computers, power grids, self-driving cars and much more work. The class will use the Arduino Uno R3 kit which is a student driven programmable microcontroller with numerous fun and exciting project opportunities! Each student will keep the kit they use in the class.

Each kid was able to complete all projects involving the Arduino which required learning how to program in C, wire up breadboards and circuits, and interface with the Arduino IDE. The most challenging part of the class was trying to get the school's Chromebooks to work, honestly the worst type of computer for anything but web browsing and using Google docs. I ended up using personal Macbool Pro and my Dell work laptop to load the Arduino micro controllers. It was very impressive how quick many of the students picked up on advanced topics as well as create their own circuit designs using the Arduino starter kit.

Topics covered:
  • Electronics
    • Safety
    • Components – what makes circuits work
    • Ohm’s Law
    • Micro controllers
  • Programming
    • Basis of programming
    • Logic
    • IDEs – developer’s environment
    • Building real world code
  • Projects
    • Fun with LEDs
    • Ultrasonic sensor - spider
    • LCD display
    • Creative experimentation

Spider project completed by student

Closeup of spider project micro controller

Spider project ultrasonic sensor