UNO Building Camp :: Student Project
Here’s a summer youth camp put on by one of our students – it looks like a blast! In this camp there are several workshops: electronics, wood carving, bicycle repair, kite building, leather, plaster. All the other activities are great, but here we’ll be focusing on the electronics, and in this case they have an incredible introduction to assembly techniques, programming, and electronic theory using a custom Arduino Uno board.
In the project for this years electronics workshop, each camper will be assembling their own custom Arduino Uno board. The board is based on the Arduino Uno design but with larger components to make it easier for the inexperienced to work with.
Most of the resistors and capacitors are 1206 in size instead of the 0603 size. They will start to assemble the board with solder paste and a hot plate to do the SMD soldering. Then they’ll do any solder reworking necessary, as well as the soldering for the through-hole components with a soldering iron.
One thing about assembling your own Arduino from components is that it will need a bootloader. Campers take care of this by connecting the board to another Arduino so that they can burn the bootloader themselves. Only then is their Arduino ready for one of the normal first Arduino sketches: Blink.
Just getting to this stage is an impressive step for the 12-14 year olds to achieve!
Campers then move on to a couple of simple circuits laid out on a breadboard to test all the IO pins of the Arduino while becoming more familiar with circuits and making adjustments to the sketch.
Once their custom Uno board is tested and the first practice projects are done they might do some small fun projects with LEDs, buttons, photo-resistors, etc. These workshops expose teens to a wide range of activities that will be fun and give them learning experiences that allow them to explore even more.