CAREER PATHS IN ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
TEACHING AND LEARNING: This website is for those who wish to learn and those seeking to teach the art and science of designing, building, and programming Arduino-controlled devices that do things.
The content of this site is currently used in Career and Technical Education classes in support of the STEM Career Clusters of Engineering and Information Technology, and is intended to be part of career pathways for computer science and engineering. In this sense, the Arduino is not the center of focus but, rather, a tool used to develop knowledge and skills of electronics, microcontrollers, and the C programming language.
The predominant languages of careers in computer science are C++, C#, and Java. Each inherits much of its syntax from C and, thus, will be familiar to students of this material.
PROJECT-BASED LEARNING: All work is hands-on, organized by lessons, how-to instructions, and integrating projects. The intent is to appeal to kinesthetic learners and all others who take pleasure in learning by doing.
OUTCOMES: Those who complete and understand all 18 lessons will be competent programmers in the C language as it is used with the Arduino single-board computer, be able to identify and use a variety of electronic components from servos through infrared sensors, understand the uses of pulse modulation for control and communication, and be able to prototype and test electronic circuits.
DIVERSIFICATION: From the beginning the goal has been to offer pathways for a variety of learning styles, interests, and academic abilities. Instructors have great freedom to adjust milestones, to shift emphasis away from or more intensely toward programming, and to connect students to related skills such as circuit board design and computer-aided design (CAD). The content can also be treated as self-paced. And students with high capabilities in engineering or programming can have content added or pointed toward more challenging work such as NAND to Tetris, where a student builds a computer, operating system, language, and application all from NAND gates.
EXTENSIBILITY: In the classes taught by the author students are given the opportunity to pursue projects of their own conception and design. Out of this has come laser tag using infrared diodes and sensors, musical instruments, waveform generators, radios for remote control of devices over extended ranges, hovercraft, and much more.
ABOUT THE CREATOR OF THE CLASS
This website and the materials on it were created and are maintained by William Osborne, a classroom teacher. Mr. Osborne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Seattle University, a pair of Master degrees from Stanford University, and a Master in Teaching from Seattle University. Before becoming a teacher he served in the Navy, built ships, consulted to the Bay Area technology industry, operated his own company, and worked for the Microsoft Corporation. He has been fascinated with building things that work, both large and small, his entire life.