Lights, Sound, Action: Coding with Arduino

Recently, the BFA Freshman Core have been learning about innovation with Arduino.

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Arduino is an open-source project that created microcontroller-based kits that can be used to design, build and program a variety of things. It is like a little computer you can program to do things, and it interacts with the world through electronic sensors, lights, and motors. It allows electronics projects to be accessible, making it an interactive tinkering tool for innovation.

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In a three-week unit, students have been exploring what they can design with the Arduino micro-controllers. To get started, students progressed through 10 Arduino tutorials at their own pace to test the capabilities of the software and hardware. At the end of each tutorial, students then reflected about their learning by completing a blog on Schoology.

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In addition to the actual STEM lessons, students have reflected they have learned several skills throughout this learning process, including how to persevere One student shared in his reflection that he  “learned today that it is alright to spend all day on a circuit and it still not to work at the end of the day”.  Another was quoted as saying she and her partner “had many more success then challenges today.”

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In addition to self-learning, the BFA students were able to connect with students from  the University of Vermont’s FabLab through video conferencing software to learn about the possibilities of using Arduino’s to design projects.

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Now that students have begun to learn what is possible with using the Arduino’s, they can begin to plan and design innovative ways to use the hardware to solve problems.


Target 1 – Proficiency-Based Personalized Learning. FWSU students and staff design and engage in proficiency-based personalized learning that integrates collaborative inquiry, problem-solving, and creativity.

Action Step: Support proficiency for all learners in student-centered, collaborative, digitally-rich learning environments.

Indicator of Success: Students and staff collaborate to design authentic questions and solve problems.

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