"Looks like 'Two and a Half Men' is back! Winning!"
First things first, let's talk about the caption contest from yesterday. It was really, really hard to pick a winner - I had no idea there would be such a huge response! Thank you to everyone who participated. We'll definitely do these contests more in the future. The winner this time around is SkiMask and his caption above. Nice work! We'll be contacting you about your prize - a SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino. Now on to the recap!
On May 18th, Lindsay, Mike, Toni, Ben, Pete and Dave all headed up to Laramie, Wyoming, to teach a two hour workshop as part of a two day wind energy design conference at Laramie County Community College.
The conference was a meeting of various education administrators from all over the country coordinated by Jim Brazell and funded by the NSF. They were meeting at Laramie County Community College because of the College’s work with wind turbines.
After a brief introduction the administrators were introduced to our SparkFun Inventor’s Kit along with a solar cell to power the Arduino so they could take their laptops and students outside for a breath of fresh air. The workshop covered just how easy it is to get started designing in the field of mechatronics through hands on constructivism learning. Due to the short time frame we briefly covered only the basics needed to truly understand physical computing, including Digital and Analog, Input and Output and of course, Serial Communication.
We also highlighted the various educational services and materials that we offer for free to educators. Many were surprised to hear about the broad age/skill range (Engineering Ph.Ds, textile artists and four year olds, oh my!) we regularly teach in our SparkFun classes. Even more exciting for the attendees was all the free information available in conjunction with the hardware. The majority of administrators were not aware of the size and depth of the physical and online communities that support anyone who wants to learn about physical computing and Arduino.
There was a large range of skill level (aerospace engineers to administrators with no previous experience) but everyone was able to complete examples of the five concepts covered in the two hour period. So, with workshop completed and bellies full of free lunch (there is such a thing) the instructors piled in the rental suburban and heading home, stopping only when strictly necessary. Such as when we saw this place:
People were very excited to peruse the goods.
All in all, it was a great weekend and we had a blast meeting and working with a diverse group of people! Plus, we left with some awesome and completely legal fireworks!