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Member Since: January 12, 2011

Country: United States



Education Engineer @ Sparkfun

With over 5 Million units sold in 2014 alone, Chromebooks are a growing trend among schools and homes. One of the biggest drawbacks to Chromebooks has been the inability to connect it to any hardware (i.e. Arduino) -- until now.

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Courtesy of Terrence Fagan, Engineering Chair at Central Piedmont Community College. Terrence has done a lot of great work in engineering education and outreach in his community. He had the opportunity to attend the Fab10 Symposium in Barcelona last July. When he started telling me about his experience there, I felt it was a must for a blog post.

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This Saturday was the kick-off for the 28th FIRST Robotics Competition. This competition has grown from a couple dozen schools to over 3000 teams internationally. This year, Sparkfun has reached out to help teams in this year's competition.

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Last Friday at Skyline High School, rather than taking a traditional final exam, students in the Introduction to Electronics class with Ms. Vadovzski prepared poster presentations of projects that they created during the semester. Each project was required to demonstrate some type of interactivity using an Arduino and traditional electronics.

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We often teach beginning learners that the standard 16 MHz Arduino Uno is fast... really fast. 16 MHz means 16 Million cycles per second -- or that translates to 1/16 millionths of a second per cycle. That's a mere 62.5 ns. That's fast. So, is the Arduino _really_ that fast? Let's see...

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Today kicks-off the CSEdWeek and code.org's Hour of Code!

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Check out this quick little hack using a standard temperature probe from my oven thermometer, our PicoBoard, and a little creative coding in Scratch!

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Many schools and homes have VEX robotics systems. It's an awesome and amazing platform. I've casually mentioned to several friends that integrating VEX with Arduino is super simple to do... Here's a quick snap-shot at what we got working today.

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Karen Brennan, Christan Balch, Michelle Chung recently authored a comprehensive guide for using Scratch in K-12 space. It covers everything from Getting Started to Creating Animations, Stories, Games, and even running your own "Hack-a-thon"

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How to get more out of the things in your classroom. Lower cost alternatives for your classroom Arduino projects.

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Back in January, we announced a small contest for teachers and educators using the SparkFun Inventor's Kit in their classes. We wanted to highlight and reward teachers for their hard work and dedication to promoting STEM education in the classroom.

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On the third Thursday of every month, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science hosts an evening event for adults in the area called, Science Lounge. Their programming features live entertainment, demonstrations, hands-on demos, and an evening filled with science, education, and exploration! Each month features a different theme. For April, the Science Lounge theme was “Electrify!” What a perfect match for us here at SparkFun!

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Our education team is headed to Boston this week for NSTA 2014. Please stop by our booth and see what we've got going!

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A simple search on-line for "Arduino resources" results in "About 3,920,000 results (0.30 seconds)," but if you're just starting out and interested in getting Arduino into your classroom - this can be terribly overwhelming. So - here's a list of some of the sites I like to use.

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Hawaii Five-0

In October, a team of Sparkfunions were blessed with the opportunity to head to our 50th state to teach Arduino to kids, teachers, and makers on the islands of Hawaii.

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Re-cap of SparkFun @NSTA13 at the Area Conference in Denver.

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SparkFun EDU has a dedicated focus on K-12 education. We are showing several demos of our products, project ideas, and tutorials at the NSTA regional conference in Denver. Come visit us!

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A friend of mine pointed me to this amazing graphic novel created by a former Olin graduate on the perspective of "What is Engineering"

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One of the largest public school entities in the country kicked off a pilot program to integrate Software Engineering in grades 6 and 9 for 20 different schools. SparkFun was chosen to support their foray into embedded electronics, arduino, and eTextiles.

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SparkFun EDU ran a 3 day short course for educators with Bollman tech building, making, and engineering using Arduino and other tools with microcontrollers.

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A quick overview of a summer-camp program shared with us by one of our friends and followers of SparkFun EDU.

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Reflection on an article about tech career advice from Google's top female executives

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Trip report for our visit with the Hacker-Scouts program and the Parachute Factory in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

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Cambridge Bound!

We're heading to the Cambridge Science Festival

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Getting Started with the SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Google's Science Journal App

May 24, 2016

This is a quick guide to using the Google Science Journal app with the Arduino 101 that's included and pre-programmed in the SIK for Google's Science Journal App.

Experiment Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

May 28, 2015

This Experiment Guide offers nine experiments to get you started with the SparkFun RedBot. This guide is designed for those familiar with our SparkFun Inventors Kit and want to take their robotics knowledge to the next level.

Re-Programming the LilyTiny / LilyTwinkle

September 11, 2014

A quick tutorial showing how to reprogram the ATtiny85 IC found on the LilyTiny or LilyTwinkle boards.

DigitalSandbox PicoBoard

August 15, 2014

This tutorial walks through how to upload code to your Digital Sandbox to emulate the functionality of the PicoBoard with Scratch.

Simon Splosion Wireless

February 13, 2014

This is a tutorial demonstrating one of many techniques to "hack" the Simon Says. We will highlight the technique to take your Simon Says Wireless.

Vernier Photogate

January 7, 2014

Vernier Photogate Timer -- using the Serial Enabled LCD Kit.

Logic Levels

June 3, 2013

Learn the difference between 3.3 V and 5 V devices.
  • The app will work on any android device that has BLE and uses Kit Kat Android OS or above. We tried it out on an older tablet we have in the office and got the same “not supported” error you’re seeing.

    But, Almost all phones people are using these days meet both requirements. There are several that are priced around $40 like the Moto E and many other entry level phones from LG, BLU, or ZTE. It doesn’t need a SIM card or data plan if you set it up on wifi.

  • of course! I’ll see if I can get it added to the product page, too. But, in the meantime, the firmware for the Arduino 101 is on github here. You’ll also need to install / add the nanoPB library. Our techs found that it works best with the latest Arduino (1.6.8+).

  • Glad to be of help! I can’t answer for the people at Google, but we’re happy to be here. I’m sure it’s unintentional. The team that worked on the app are all at MakerFaire this weekend.

    As a note - they showed me a trick to “reset” the app with out uninstalling it. You can long-hold the app from the applications folder (not the shortcut) and drag it over to the [App info] button. Click [Clear Data] to reset the app.

    I’m a former physics teacher, and I agree that the app can use some improvements, but it is pretty slick as a handheld sensor / data logger and it has a lot of potential! – @sparkfunEDU

  • @caposc - I have been testing the app out, and it has some great features in it. You should be able to export data by gmail, Google Drive, or by bluetooth.

    Because of COPPA compliance, the app asks your age – and, if you inadvertently put in a bogus birthdate (as I often do), it restricts the “share/export” feature. Sampling speed is currently set by the firmware and limited by the bluetooth stack. The developers at google are working on adding more features, but the deadline was to release this for MakerFaire this weekend. Stay tuned! More features to come.

    Here are some screenshots I quickly snagged for you all:

    *click on the … to view the export option

    *export to drive, gmail, or bluetooth

  • Fixed. You all are really fast. Sorry about that. It was our internal vs. external link management on our product description.

    Thanks everyone!

  • We currently do not have any plans to design / build a Mega version of this shield, but if there is enough interest, we can bring this up in our next new product proposal discussions. Please let us know if this is something you think would benefit you as well as other builders / makers / hackers out there!

  • Here are the correct pins – at least the ones that I think are relevant:

    TB6612FNG Dual H-Bridge DC Motor Driver

    • L_CTRL_1 – pin 2
    • L_CTRL_2 – pin 4
    • PWM_L – pin 5
    • R_CTRL_1 – pin 7
    • R_CTRL_2 – pin 8
    • PWM_R – pin 6

    XBee Port with HW/SW Serial Switch

    • SW_Serial TX – pin A0
    • SW_Serial RX – pin A1
  • The 4 AA batteries are rated at 1500 mAh. In series, this is still 1500 mAh of “energy” to the robot. Your 10,000 mAh power pack will run for considerably longer.

  • Yes. Thanks! Crouton and ChrUbuntu are both alternative solutions to this – but, if you’re in a school, it’s unlikely that you’re going to dual boot or have students boot into an alternative OS for you classroom projects. I ran the Arduino IDE under ChrUbuntu a while back, and it worked like a charm – installing ChrUbuntu and trying to get teachers / students to do the same seemed like too much. But – yes, there are other solutions to getting a ChromeBook to run Arduino. Booting it into a more fully featured distro of Linux is one of those ways.

  • Thanks @swarren. Fixed the link.

NYC 3-Day Micro4Ed PD at Spence

bri_huang 3 items

Hardware required for use with the Microcontrollers for...

DIY Science Sensor Lab

bri_huang 11 items

A small set of equipment to do some great labs in the...

Wireless RedBot Add-on

bri_huang 3 items

A few extra parts needed to control your RedBot wirelessly.

VEX + Arduino Control

bri_huang 14 items

Parts used to build a control system for VEX using Arduino...

Microcontrollers for Educators 2015

bri_huang 23 items

This is a list of the hardware that all participants will...

AAPT SM15 Workshop

bri_huang 24 items

Hardware parts list for AAPT SM15 Workshop – Explorations in...

Vernier Photogate

bri_huang 8 items

This is a list of all parts needed to build a full featured...

Simon Wireless

bri_huang 11 items

Here is a quick kit of parts for you to build your own...

AVC in a Box

bri_huang 18 items

All of the parts needed for any team to build a simple...