Arduino microcontrollers are popular because they are inexpensive and very, very useful in many electronics and robotic builds. Plus, they are open-source, which means you can take other people's ideas, modify them, and make them your own.
For us, these little boards are great. You can build cool electronics projects like those we saw in class, plus you can use them as the "brains" in robots. And they serve as a great introduction to programming and hardware hacking. As you likely know, programming languages are now considered the most important languages in the world. English used to be most important. Now it's C and it's derivatives.
In this course, we will keep it simple: learning to program simple inputs (buttons) and outputs (LEDs) using variables (local and global), functions, and "for" loops. Hopefully, this experience will open your eyes to the potential of using Arduino or other similar microcontrollers.
Our Essential Question for this unit is "How can I gain the power to control my world?"
Our Major Learning Goals are:
Every one of you uses electronic devices. You have cell phones, cameras, mp3 players (often on the same device), plus gaming consoles and televisions and tablets and computers. We shouldn't forget the more "boring" electronic devices we use regularly: alarm clocks, flashlights, light switches, refrigerators, etc. We love our electronics.
So why do most people know so little about what goes on inside them? Maybe it's because we are a society of specialists. Many people drive cars but don't know what an internal combustion engine is; we leave that to mechanics. Well, in this unit, we will take a glimpse at the world of electronics. Maybe you will see that it's something in which you'd like to specialize. Electronics and Computer Engineers (the specialists) are in high demand, so if you decide you want to pursue that route, you will almost certainly be gainfully employed.
But even if you don't decide to pursue that industry, learning how technology works will enable to you control your devices rather than being controlled by them. When you run into problems, you can solve them instead of feeling frustrated by them.
That brings me to the essential question for this unit: HOW CAN I GAIN POWER BY CONTROLLING ELECTRICITY?
This is the first course in what may be your engineeringCentral career! This is grade 10 Computer Technology. It leads to the grade 11 and grade 12 Computer Engineering courses. We will hopefully have lots of fun this semester while learning crucial skills that every employer is looking for.
I firmly believe that what you will learn in this class (and the grade 11 and 12 classes) will lead to the skills you need to get jobs. Jobs that pay well. Jobs that are in demand. And in an era where there are lots of complaints about the lack of jobs, wouldn't you love to know that you are getting ready for an industry where you won't have to worry about all that negativity?
Together, we will try to answer the Essential Question for this course: HOW CAN I GAIN THE POWER TO TAKE CONTROL?