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Basic Arduino for Beginners: Halloween Edition (Pumpkins Included!)

Greetings, human! Arduino is a cheap and tiny computer that can become anything from a robot's brain to a guitar pedal. And even if you are new to computers, with Arduino, you can make something cool. 

Never coded? No worries. We will walk you through the basics of making amazing stuff with Arduino. Even if you've never written code or connected a component, you'll leave with a great project, and be inspired to make another.

The Basics

Set up Arduino, test it out, and learn what it can do:

Goof around with lots of cool electronic components

Learn to modify programs, use other people's, and write your own. Yes, you can program!

Explore creative ways of blowing up components...or keeping them from blowing up. 

Optional: Build, code, test, and bring home the world's most irritating musical instrument

After the workshop ends, you can hang out with the MakerBar crew and get tips on your own projects and ideas. 

What You'll Need
You'll need a laptop (any OS, Mac or PC is fine) to participate. 

One computer per adult.  This means it is okay for a parent and child team to bring a single computer.  

You can either bring your own Arduino Uno or Mega with USB cable, or you can purchase one at the workshop for $35.  

Before class: Please pre-install the Arduino software from on your computer.

What We Provide

Admission price includes three-hour workshop and component pack and pumpkin.

Since it is close to Halloween we will be including how to make a proximity sensing light for your pumpkin and a Cylon type scanner (see: latest Battlestar Galactica). 

We will NOT be carving pumpkins in class. We include pumpkins in the class supplies for you to carve at home or you can bring them back for the pumpkin hacking on Wednesday, October 30, when you can put your Arduino project into your pumpkin (see the schedule).

Safety and age limits: 

This class doesn't involve any soldering, tools, etc

Kids 11 and up are welcome with a parent or adult guardian.  

Cost is $50 + $15 materials, MakerBar Members pay only for materials.

About your instructors

Andy Fundinger is a professional Python developer and trainer.  He's been programming for almost 28 years and in Python for 8 years.  This is the second time he's teaching Arduino for Beginners at MakerBar.

Martha carved a Cylon Pumpkin at last year's offering of this class and is coming back to help teach it this year. If she can do it, so can you. 

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  • Andy F.

    October 27, 2013

  • Andy F.

    For anyone using Windows 8, there is a trick to installing the driver, this video explains

    October 22, 2013

  • Shannon

    Hey, a few questions :) Is this good for total beginners? I keep seeing Arduino and while I only vaguely understand it, I think it sounds like something we'd enjoy learning. And also I see last year there was a 12 year old. I took my 11 year old the soldering night yesterday and we both enjoyed ourselves. Would this be ok for 11?

    October 17, 2013

    • Andy F.

      This class is very much intended for beginners, well behaved and interested children are always welcome. Even in classes which are for adults, children are usually better students then the rest of us :-)

      October 17, 2013

  • Martha G.

    Shannon: I will have to check with Andy re: numbers of computers. I can tell you, as a total n00b in the class last year, that I was very comfortable, as was the 12-year-old. :)

    October 17, 2013

    • Shannon

      Cool, thanks for the feedback :) And yes, parent/child sharing a laptop.

      October 17, 2013

  • Shannon

    Oops, one more question. We only have one laptop. Can two people share one?

    October 17, 2013

    • Martha G.

      Yes, if you are a parent and child team.

      October 17, 2013

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