Challenges of Preparing a Class

First, a quick note for my Facebook readers. You might want to click through to my blog. I tend to put hyperlinks to related pages in my blog posts and these don’t seem to show up on Facebook. Consequently, when I put a link to Airtable in my last post (, some Facebook readers didn’t realize that I was talking about a program that I was using as opposed to one that I wrote myself. Now on to today’s post.

I am developing a class on how to build and program a robot. It is intended as a follow-on class for people who have already taken the class on building simple circuits and writing programs to control them with the Arduino. For those of you that haven’t yet encountered the Arduino, it is a small computer, roughly the size of a credit card, that is easy to learn to program and has the necessary hardware to control a lot of different hardware circuits. Some of the early projects that most people do while learning to build things with an Arduino are flashing LEDs and buzzing buzzers. It is also able of controlling servos which are often used to provide robots with wheels.

It is going to be challenging to put together a class that meets all of the criteria that have been set for me. It needs to be about two or three hours of instruction. Check. It needs to have a budget for lab materials of roughly $15. Ouch! That is going to be challenging. Also making it interesting for a variety of ages is going to be its own challenge. I’ve got a rough draft and I’m still shopping for lab materials. I think it is doable. I’ll just have to be a little bit clever. I’m excited.