Computing students get creative at IET Arduino Club
As a result of UTC Reading’s fantastic partnership with the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology), we have been running a weekly “IET Arduino Club” for computing students.
Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs, such as light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message, and turn it into an output, such as activating a motor, turning on an LED, or publishing something online. Using the Arduino programming language and Arduino Software, a set of instructions can be sent to the microcontroller on the board.
For one hour per week, 20 students are able to build something of their choice using Arduino kits, which were generously donated to UTC Reading by the IET. The IET funded the Arduino kits to nurture innovation at UTC Reading and enable students to develop their technical skills. The club is aimed at delivering an immersive and creative experience for students and offering them the opportunity to use technology in innovative ways.
Year 11 student Josh Blackmoor connected an Arduino to a buzzer and programmed it to play the Super Mario theme music. Josh commented: “This technology is going to be used everywhere. It’s such a small device but can be used for so many every day things, so this is a great opportunity to learn how to use it and then take those skills to our future jobs.”
Sam Brown, Year 10, and Ashcon Mohseninia, Year 13, used an Arduino kit to create digits that would appear on a calculator display. Sam said: “It’s fantastic being given the opportunity to use this technology. It’s used in the real world in so many different ways, so it’s good I can learn how to use this and will then be able to learn how to use other technology like it in future.”
Year 10 student Samuel Boyden has been working on creating an animation of a ghost using an Arduino kit. Samuel commented: “If you want to be making phones and computers from scratch, learning how to use this technology is very helpful. Even if it’s not exactly the same as what you’re using to make a phone, the basics will be very similar so learning those basics is important.”
Daniel Thompson, Year 10, has made some coloured lights using an Arduino kit. “Not only is it really useful, but it’s a lot of fun as well. The visual aspect is what makes it so enjoyable – it’s great to be able to see something physical that you’ve created.”