Arduino For Kids
How might we use storytelling to teach complex topics from science and electronics to 8 year olds? Authoring Arduino For Kids, was an answer to that.
"What's your favourite dish? Do you like pudding? My mum makes this delicious pudding that has chocolate chips in it. Every time I taste it, it has the right amount of sugar in it and the perfect amount of a very gingery flavour that makes a tickle on my tongue, always.
My mum tells me that this recipe was given to her by her grandma, and the original recipe didn't have chocolate chips in it and there was no cardamom either. Over the ages, as she acquired new tastes, she kept adding or subtracting things depending on her mood sometimes, sometimes mine. Isn't that a beautiful thing? Wouldn't it be amazing if you could cook a dish exactly like your mum did?
When you can look into how something was built and the source (or the recipe) is made available and can be modified and redistributed, it is called open source. If it is in the hardware domain, it is called open-source hardware, if it is in the software domain, it is called open-source software."
An excerpt from Page 92, Chapter 4, The Magic Wand
The mission of this book is to integrate technology with the tools that children already use for crafts so that they feel that the technology is an extension of their playtime. We use coding, sensors, and micro-controllers integrated with art and craft supplies, origami, and Playdough. There are 10 fun-filled chapters that talk to children directly, and give clear instructions for non-technical parents too.
We use Arduino as the controller of choice due to its easy availability and large community. By the end of the book, children will comfortably be able to set up their Arduino, read and understand code, manipulate code, and ultimately write their own code for projects. They will also be able to use basic sensors and know how components connect to each other. All the learning takes place with lots of colourful pictures and the circuits are neatly presented using wiring.
As an author, I take a lot of pride in writing this book along with my co-authors Priya and Vijay. We are all educators, storytellers and hackers ourselves. I wrote a book I wish I had as a kid.