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Firetech Camp – April 2018

Firetech Camp – April 2018

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Intro to Arduino with Firetech

From April 2nd to April 6th, I attended a 5 day Firetech camp at Imperial College, South Kensington. Imperial College is quite an impressive venue for any type of course & seeing the Imperial Women in Engineering banner in the entrance of the Electronic Engineering Department was very encouraging. The course I took was called “Intro to Arduino” .

 

Firetech is an organisation that provides tech education for young people 9-17 years old. They deliver courses and workshops covering many tech topics. They teach coding, making, and digital arts through classes like Video Game Design, Mobile App Design, Robotics, and Digital Music Production. They have delivered over 7,000 courses to many students. Their courses are designed to educate, entertain and inspire the young kids, the next generation of inventors.

I chose Arduino because I had never tried it before and it was completely new to me. Arduino is an open source computer hardware and software company. It consists of both a physical programmable circuit board (also known as micro controller) and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that runs on your computer, used to write and upload computer code to the physical board. Arduino boards are able to read inputs: light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message and turn it into an output: activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. “C’ is the language used for Arduino.

I was in a group of 5. During the first 3 days, we learnt about circuits, LEDs, light sensors, motors, 180 degrees  servos, potentiometers and what they could be used for and how to use them with  Arduino. Thanks to my Microbit inventor’s kit I was already familiar with lots of the components .  However, it was good to have a refresher! We then made circuits and completed some challenges that were given to us. On the last two days, we developed ideas for a project which we could build and complete. Parents were invited to come and see our finished projects on the last day (Friday).

My project consisted of displaying some text on a LCD (liquid crystal display) screen. The screen would turn on using a potentiometer. The text described my name, my hobbies and my favourite food. I chose to use a LCD screen because I wanted to use something different.

The mentors  were really friendly, supportive & challenged us to problem solve. I was the only girl on the Arduino course – but  I was pleased to see a few other girls attending  other Firetech courses throughout the week.  Hopefully this blog will inspire others to take a step closer to tech & give these opportunities a go.

Something I thought was a good idea was that everybody received a USB stick. We were then able to save all the work we did throughout the week . We were given a Firetech T-shirt & on the last day we received individual feedback on a certificate of achievement.

I now feel more confident with Arduino and would like to explore more. I’ve decided to buy myself a starter kit. Hopefully I should receive it next week!

I would definitely like to do another Firetech camp & I’ve got loads of new ideas that I’d love to share in some of my future workshops.

 

Avye

Hi, my name is Avye and I love making, coding, designing, exploring new technology and swimming! This site is about the things I get to experience, discover and enjoy. Welcome to my world!

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