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Arduino kits - some advice needed
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Arduino kits - some advice needed

by Jovali on Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:14 pm

Hi

Thinking of buying our son an Arduino type kit for his upcoming birthday - he'll be 14 and is doing computer science and tech as GCSEs so thinking this will be interesting and educational for him.

Looking on Amazon and there is a lot of choice! So, what sort of kit should I be looking for that will give him enough to get interested but not so complicated that it turns him off? I'd like something where he can make simple things like a clock timer; radio; light switches or something and then allow him to progress on to something more difficult.

Needs to be easy to get started as I'll probably have to help him!

Cheers

Jovali
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:27 am

Re: Arduino kits - some advice needed

by kcl1s on Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:23 pm

I'd like something where he can make simple things like a clock timer; radio; light switches or something and then allow him to progress on to something more difficult.

These would really be considered intermediate projects. Very doable but only with a good base of knowledge.

Arduino and the like are a combination of hardware and code. He will be learning circuit wiring, components, possibly soldering and other skills. If you want him to ease into that end of things he could start with a Circuit Playground Express Board. https://www.adafruit.com/product/3333 It has all the sensors, light and sound on one board so you can do a lot without wiring anything. Also the CPE can be coded in multiple languages including a block code for beginners. Adafruit has a great tutorial guide to get started. https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-circuit-playground-express

If learning wiring and components is important then this kit is a good place to start. https://www.adafruit.com/product/3588 Adafruit also has a great online tutorial to complement the book. https://learn.adafruit.com/experimenters-guide-for-metro/intro This kit is compatible with most of the other Arduino projects around the web. The downside is your coding choice is limited to Arduino/C++ code.

I am a volunteer instructor at my local public library and have had success teaching motivated 12 - 16 year olds Arduino. You have builtin examples and you can copy and paste code from others in also.

I have run classes for teens with both. Either would be good choices for first time. After he gets a base of knowledge he can move into WiFi or Bluetooth boards but don't start there.

Hope this helps

Fellow hobbyist
Keith

kcl1s
 
Posts: 1511
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:06 pm

Re: Arduino kits - some advice needed

by Jovali on Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:42 am

kcl1s wrote:
I'd like something where he can make simple things like a clock timer; radio; light switches or something and then allow him to progress on to something more difficult.

These would really be considered intermediate projects. Very doable but only with a good base of knowledge.

Arduino and the like are a combination of hardware and code. He will be learning circuit wiring, components, possibly soldering and other skills. If you want him to ease into that end of things he could start with a Circuit Playground Express Board. https://mydataprovider.com/solutions/web-scraping/ It has all the sensors, light and sound on one board so you can do a lot without wiring anything. Also the CPE can be coded in multiple languages including a block code for beginners. Adafruit has a great tutorial guide to get started. https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-circuit-playground-express

If learning wiring and components is important then this kit is a good place to start. https://www.adafruit.com/product/3588 Adafruit also has a great online tutorial to complement the book. https://learn.adafruit.com/experimenters-guide-for-metro/intro This kit is compatible with most of the other Arduino projects around the web. The downside is your coding choice is limited to Arduino/C++ code.

I am a volunteer instructor at my local public library and have had success teaching motivated 12 - 16 year olds Arduino. You have builtin examples and you can copy and paste code from others in also.

I have run classes for teens with both. Either would be good choices for first time. After he gets a base of knowledge he can move into WiFi or Bluetooth boards but don't start there.

Hope this helps

Fellow hobbyist
Keith


Thanks for your reply

Jovali
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:27 am

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.