Adventures in STEM- Learning to play with Arduino

In 2018, I will be teaching stand alone STEM classes instead of puppetry. First thing I want to say is I don’t like the acronym STEM which stands for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. I prefer STEAM with the A standing for the Arts. Creativity is a very important component when solving real world problems, and in STEAM, creativity is included under A for Arts. For the purposes of this blog, I will refer to the new course as STEAM. So, if you prefer to leave the A out, that’s fine, but I will be all inclusive and call it STEAM.

I have never taught STEAM as a subject before. I have taught many students and colleagues a great deal about using technology to solve problems in teaching and learning but not within the framework of STEAM. I have also used a great many principals of STEAM within my puppet building, through project based learning, iterations and 3D printing. I will be teaching stage 4, which so far, has no program or resources that I am aware of, that can guide my preparation over summer. My school does have access to the amazing iSTEM Syllabus and online resources but the course I am teaching cannot overlap that sensational course.

So what am I doing to prepare myself for an unknown course?

  • I am creating a STEAM pinterest board of activities and classroom organisation which might help me in the year ahead.
  • I bought an Arduino starter kit from Jaycar Electronics to start learning how to code my own robots. The best part is I can apply this learning to my puppetry to make my first animatronics move using coding!!!!!!

 

Plastic box containing multiple small electronic components

My Arduino Learning kit with everything to create my first robots!

I am using the Stan Winston School of Character Arts course on Arduino Programming Basics to help me understand the potential that is within this kit.

I have completed my first little project of making an on-board LED light turn on and off by pressing a button! Here are the instructions from Arduino’s website!

Onto my next project!

Miss H

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