Book Image

Arduino for Kids

By : Priya Kuber, Rishi Gaurav Bhatnagar, Vijay Varada
Book Image

Arduino for Kids

By: Priya Kuber, Rishi Gaurav Bhatnagar, Vijay Varada

Overview of this book

The mission of this book is to integrate technology with the tools that children already use for crafts so that they feel that the technology is an extension of their playtime. We use coding, sensors, and micro-controllers integrated with art and craft supplies, origami, and Playdough. There are 10 fun-filled chapters that talk to children directly, and give clear instructions for non-technical parents too. We use Arduino as the controller of choice due to its easy availability and large community. By the end of the book, children will comfortably be able to set up their Arduino, read and understand code, manipulate code, and ultimately write their own code for projects. They will also be able to use basic sensors and know how components connect to each other. All the learning takes place with lots of colorful pictures and the circuits are neatly presented using wiring.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Arduino for Kids
Credits
Foreword
About the Authors
About the Reviewers
www.PacktPub.com
Customer Feedback
Preface

Preface

It is well known that early childhood experiences shape adult life. Hobbies have now transitioned from simple Lego buildings to well researched knowledge building toolkits. Albert Einstein said, If you can't explain to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself. This book is the attempt of 3 self-taught professional hobbyist-inventors to use their experience, to teach complex electronics to a 9-12 year old. This book contains the combined teaching experience of approximately 300 workshops conducted by 3 of the authors separately.

Learning, is a process, but effective learning is a skill. In this book, we have started with the fundamentals of critical thinking that all professional engineers use and translated it, to the level of children. We have ensured that the learning curve is relatable and includes the fundamentals of developing the research mindset, that is required in today’s career, irrespective of their life choices.

We also took care of increasing the complexity level of the projects to a level, just within the reach of kids. Irrespective of their technical level, adults can use this book to build projects and bond with their kids. The components used are simple and easy to find in any market.

The time taken to complete each project, has also been carefully crafted to last 1 day. The assumption is that you can have productive fun with your kids for several weekends. Each project has also been kept independent from the other, to give a sense of completion and tangible accomplishment to the kids.

This world will need more engineers, designers, astronauts, story tellers, and visionaries. We hope that this book is going to be the first step in their scientific and creative journeys.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, The World Around Us, is about explicitly drawing the attention of the reader to the systems and processes around us, encouraging the reader to take notes and observations. Children are inspired by everyday things more than an abstract concept. Every system is split into sensor-microcontroller-actuator.

Chapter 2, Systems and Logic, proceeds to teach the young readers how logic works. Starting from simple algorithms, it teaches the child to reach complex systems by first creating simple substitute systems. For example, to make an alarm, this chapter first teaches them to prototype using an LED. Then later teach them to add a button to disable the alarm, and as a challenge, would ask them to make a special combination lock in the activity.

Chapter 3, Components and Connections, is about the basics of electronics and building blocks of circuits. The child will also get introduced to basic sensors that are available off the shelf, also will learn the logic of the sensors, to enable them to create their own. They learn the concept of electricity, current, and voltages and understand that they can be manipulated.

Chapter 4, The Magic Wand, is about introducing Arduino as the 'brain' of a system and will teach students how to operate. It teaches a child to set up the Arduino with vibrant picture instructions. It will introduce them to a set process of thinking an execution when solving problems or working with projects. This chapter will also talk about open source, and open source hardware - will talk about how open source has revolutionized technology., giving them a non-selfish view about technology.

Chapter 5, Hello world!, is the beginning of integration of all the knowledge that the readers have accumulated and write their first program in Arduino and create a light sensitive organism.

Chapter 6, Safety box, begins with the series of projects. Every child likes to keep secrets and what better a first project than getting the child to make a small safety box that will ring an alarm if opened. The project further includes a button to stop the alarm, and further guides the child to set a secret key code to stop the alarm.

Chapter 7, Make a friend. is about teaching the child learning the importance of making a friend by using proximity sensor. When the child brings a friend near to his/her toy friend , the toy’s smile lights up. The child’s toy would be made using playdough, with the proximity sensor as a belt.

Chapter 8, Save Energy, aims to show the child the positive impact that a sensor-based smart system can have on the environment. The system uses a simple LDR (light dependent resistor) , an Arduino and an LED. This is to demonstrate a simple porchlight turning automatically off when it is daytime, thus saving energy.

Chapter 9, High 5!, creates a very gratifying High-5ing robot to celebrate the child's accomplishment so far through the book. It combines sensors and actuators and gives the child a comprehensive understanding of building autonomous systems. You  build a robot that High 5s you when you are close!

Chapter 10, Plant, Meet Arduino, is a fun and a challenging activity where the child will make a plant more interactive. The child will build a system that can find out if the plant is thirsty and intimate human about it.

What you need for this book

The latest version of Arduino IDE for your computer.

Who this book is for

This book is for children aged 9 and up and their parents, who may or may not have a technical background. This book is tailored around the central idea of introducing electronics as a fun and a curiosity-inducing exercise. This book can act as a bonding exercise between parent and child over the weekend.

Conventions

In this book, you will find a number of text styles that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, path names, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "We can include other contexts through the use of the include directive."

A block of code is set as follows:

int pin = 13;
void setup() {
 // put your setup code here, to run once:
 pinMode(pin,OUTPUT);
}
void loop() {
 // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
dot();dot();dot();
dash();dash();dash();
dot();dot();dot();
delay(3000);
}

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, for example, in menus or dialog boxes, appear in the text like this: "Clicking the Next button moves you to the next screen."

Note

Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.

Tip

Tips and tricks appear like this.

Reader feedback

Feedback from our readers is always welcome. Let us know what you think about this book—what you liked or disliked. Reader feedback is important for us as it helps us develop titles that you will really get the most out of.

To send us general feedback, simply e-mail [email protected], and mention the book's title in the subject of your message.

If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, see our author guide at www.packtpub.com/authors.

Customer support

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Downloading the example code

You can download the example code files for this book from your account at http://www.packtpub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.packtpub.com/support and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.

You can download the code files by following these steps:

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The code bundle for the book is also hosted on GitHub at https://github.com/PacktPublishing/Arduino-for-Kids. We also have other code bundles from our rich catalog of books and videos available at https://github.com/PacktPublishing/. Check them out!

Errata

Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in the text or the code—we would be grateful if you could report this to us. By doing so, you can save other readers from frustration and help us improve subsequent versions of this book. If you find any errata, please report them by visiting http://www.packtpub.com/submit-errata, selecting your book, clicking on the Errata Submission Form link, and entering the details of your errata. Once your errata are verified, your submission will be accepted and the errata will be uploaded to our website or added to any list of existing errata under the Errata section of that title.

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Piracy

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Questions

If you have a problem with any aspect of this book, you can contact us at [email protected], and we will do our best to address the problem.