Arduino comes as an after-school club at RCMS

“The breadboard is the ‘bread-and-butter’ of programming.” – By a student of this club

By: Om Duggineni, Srihan Kotnana, Manav Mam

It’s fully functional buzzer system. It’s a humanoid robot as big as a human. It’s even a glove that can “manipulate” time. It’s Arduino, a project created in 2004 designed to help teach code.

This year, you can now code with Arduino at school with the new after-school Arduino Club.

Arduino is a programmable device designed to help users code in the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE), an environment where programs can easily be created and saved to the device.

Everything Arduino is open-source, including the hardware, software, and libraries. The creators of Arduino even allow commercial products to be made with Arduino and then sold!

This club is a hub of business. Everybody is working on a program, some programs are working, and some semicolons are missing. Semicolons are used to separate program lines.

Uploading a program to the Arduino takes three easy steps. First, plug the Arduino into a USB port on your computer. Then, click the upload button in the Arduino IDE. The Arduino compiler will notify you if there was an error. Otherwise, your program will start running promptly. Many successful programs exist, but as a student at Rachel Carson Middle School said as he was showing us the upload process, “There are mostly errors down here.” He was describing how hard it is to work on coding as he showing us how to upload a program.

However, some students said Arduino can sometimes be hard to program.

“I am a super noob at this and the only computer language I know is HTML so I am trying to figure out what is going on,” said an eighth grader in Rachel Carson Middle School.

In fact, this was suggested as a major improvement for Arduino since it is hard to program.

“The Arduino hardware doesn’t have many limitations, but it could be better by helping explain how it works,” said an eighth grade Rachel Carson Middle School student.

Currently most students at Arduino Club are eighth graders. There are only two out of 10 seventh graders in Arduino Club. There is also only one girl in the club.

When asked why they joined this club, Luke Polackal said, “It was similar to what I have been looking for and it matches my interest.” Many students stated that they like Arduino Club because they feel as though they can pursue anything they want within reason.

When asked why he created this club, Mr. Bolt said, “The reason I sponsored this club is that I don’t have much experience with Arduino and I would like to learn about the Arduino language along with the others,” and, “I also sponsored this club because I would like to integrate this into my eighth grade classrooms.”

If you are interested in this new club, the next session of Arduino Club will open soon, so pursue your interest, but remember the session will only accept 10 students, so sign up quickly!

View an Arduino project in action