A hands-on exploration of interactive electronics with a programmable microcontroller and various sensors, motors, lights and switches in order to see the basics of circuits, coding, and the techniques behind the DIY (Do It Yourself) “Maker” culture. We’ll first use the recipes in the Sparkfun Inventor’s kit as a starting point to learn about “for” loops, “if” statements, volts, amps, resistance, and then build on those examples to create your own project. No previous experience needed. (Warning: this activity may be habit forming.)
In this course you will learn to
We'll be following along the recipes in the "Experimenter's Guide", doing one section every two weeks, and leaving time at the end for a final project of your own design. And along the way we'll and some of the basics of circuits (volts, amps, resistance and all that) and programming ("if" statements, "for" loops, and all that).
-- calendar -- week Feb 15 00 getting started 22 01 light A Mar 01 02 light B Mar 08 03 sound A 15 04 sound B 22 05 motion A 29 06 motion B Apr 07 12 08 display A 19 09 display B 26 10 robot A May 03 11 robot B 10 12 final project - your design 17 13 ... 24 14 ...
The course will consist of
As a 2 credit course, you should expect to spend roughly 6 hours of time per week on this course, including class time.
A note on attribution, code, and the culture of programming...
The "culture" surrounding programming is one that encourages sharing and collaboration. Open-source software, online communities such as StackOverflow, GitHub/Gist, and the fast-paced nature of the technology world have all led to a vast collection of places where programmers can quickly and easily get help in solving common and not-so-common problems. This is a fantastic and vital part of being a 'programmer', and I encourage you to use and contribute to these communities.
This being said, there are a few important guidelines that MUST be followed in order to strike a balance between collaboration and academic integrity:
Here's an example of quoting your sources : a lot of the preceding language in this syllabus is from Andrew Cencini's Fall 2019 edition of this course. ("Hi Andrew!")
The overall course grade will be the average of
The homework grade is based on the number of assignments (lab writeups) completed and submitted on time.
Project grades will be based on
If circumstances outside of your control - illness, technology issues, your dog ate your homework - get in the way, please do let me know, and we will try to work things out.
Questions about any of this? Ask Jim.
Bennington College provides reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities when such accommodations are requested and necessary to ensure equal access to College programs and facilities. If you believe you are entitled to an accommodation speak with Katy Evans, the Academic Services and Accommodations Advisor, about any disability-related needs. If approved, you will receive a memo detailing your specific accommodations; it is your responsibility to provide me with the memo and discuss the implementation of accommodations. Note that I will not be aware of your needs if you do not share this memo with me. Accommodations are not retroactive, so the sooner we meet to discuss your needs, the better. Also, students experiencing mental and/or physical health challenges that are significantly impacting their academic work are encouraged to speak with their faculty advisor and member of Academic Services (email@example.com or 440-4400) about the impact and to connect with resources through health and psychological services (440-4426 or 440-4451).
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Bennington College is committed to fostering the intellectual growth of all students, and to creating a learning environment where human cultural diversity is valued and respected. To that end, in this course all students can expect a respectful, welcoming and inclusive environment. I hope that all students in this course will openly share their unique perspectives and, just as importantly, respect the perspectives, comments, and contributions made by every other student and guest that participates in this course during the term. If you feel that at any time that this goal is not being met, please don’t hesitate to see me, or speak with a college administrator (e.g., from The Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Student Life, or Academic Services) to share your concern.